New figures show twice as many ex-smokers than smokers currently living in England

20 September 2016        

Cigarette on ashtray

Smoking rates in England have reached record lows at 16.9 per cent – with 14.6 million ex-smokers compared to 7.2 million smokers.

This data coincides with the launch of Public Health England's fifth annual Stoptober campaign which aims to encourage and support smokers to quit for good.

The challenge

The 28-day stop smoking campaign is the biggest mass quit attempt in the country and is based on research that if you stop smoking for 28 days you are five times more likely to quit for good. 

Dr Mike Knapton, our Associate Medical Director, said: "Quitting smoking is the single best thing you can do for your heart health. Coronary Heart Disease is the UK’s single biggest killer and by giving up smoking you'll be dramatically reducing your chances of having a potentially deadly heart attack or stroke.

"Stoptober is the perfect opportunity for people to take action to protect their health and join thousands of others who are also making a quit attempt this month."

Celebrity support 

Celebrities, including Ex-England cricketer and Question of Sport captain Phil Tufnell, are supporting the campaign this year.

He said: "I'm really pleased to be supporting Stoptober this year. I have smoked pretty steadily since I was a teenager, even through my cricket career. I have tried to give up before and know how tough it is, but I am going to try and quit again from 1 October.

"Even if you have tried quitting before like me and failed, just give it another go and keep trying. The more you try to quit the more likely you are to get there. Stoptober is here to help, so let’s try and get through to 28 days without a fag by taking it one day at a time."

Help and advice

A range of support and advice will be available for quitters this year including the Stoptober app and new Facebook Messenger tool. For more information search 'Stoptober' online.

Find out more about how smoking can affect your heart health.

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