Now's the time for Yorkshire and Humber smokers to quit as success rate rises


• Highest quitting success rate on record in first 6 months of 2017
• Rise in proportion of smokers trying to stop
• First time ever increase driven entirely by successes among the less well off
• Expert report says there’s never been a better time to quit with e-cigarettes one of the key drivers
• Launch of Stoptober mass quit event sees new TV ad feature e-cigarettes for the first time

There has never been a better time to quit smoking: new data published today shows quitting success rates at their highest for at least a decade, up to 19.8 per cent for the first six months of this year, significantly higher than the average for the last 10 years (15.7per cent).

Success rates among the less well-off have for years remained stubbornly low, but in a major turnaround the sharp increase in success rates is being seen entirely among this group. For the first time, smokers in manual occupational groups have virtually the same chances of quitting as those in white collar jobs.

More smokers are trying to stop smoking, with around 34 per cent of smokers making an attempt to stop over the past year, and more are succeeding. That means smoking rates across the Yorkshire and Humber area are now at their lowest level ever (17.7 per cent) and there are more ex-smokers than current smokers.

The report, from University College, London, coincides with the launch of Stoptober, the quit smoking challenge which has inspired over one and a half million quit attempts since 2012. The campaign is based on research that if you stop smoking for 28 days you are five times more likely to stop for good.

With Stoptober now in its 6th year, the UCL report gives a number of reasons why there’s never been a better time to quit, including:
• better quitting aid options, and more of them, with e-cigarettes now the most popular
• more restrictions on smoking
• banning the use of attractive brand imagery on tobacco packaging;
• a strong anti-smoking culture in England and
• supportive stop smoking campaigns such as Stoptober.

Last year over half (53 per cent) of all those taking part in Stoptober opted to use an e-cigarette as a quitting aid. This year the campaign will feature e-cigarettes in the TV ad and will do more to encourage and support smokers who are keen to try e-cigarettes to help them stop smoking.

Barnsley Council will once again be supporting the campaign following this year’s introduction of smokefree play parks across the borough as well as being the first town in the north of England to introduce a smokefree town centre zone.

Cllr Jim Andrews, Cabinet Spokesperson for Public Health, said: “One of fundamental reasons for the increase of people quitting is the increase of restrictions on smoking areas, something that we’ve strongly implemented in Barnsley as part of the breathe 2025 campaign.
“Our smokefree parks and town centre area have received fantastic feedback and is something we’re really proud of. We’re always looking for ways to encourage our residents to quit smoking and we’ll be using Stoptober to support this again.”

Scott Cosby, tobacco policy manager from Breathe 2025, said: “There really has never been a better time to stop smoking, with a fantastic range of options available, to help you succeed. Whether it’s e-cigarettes, apps, or meeting up face to face with an adviser from the most effective local stop smoking services in the country, there’s support that will work for you, wherever you are across Yorkshire and the Humber.

‘”Give it a go: if you stop smoking for 28 days this Stoptober, you’re five times more likely to stop for good.”

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