There’s never been a better time to quit smoking

Success rates for people giving up smoking in England are at their highest for at least a decade, says a new report by University College London (UCL) published to coincide with the start of this year’s Stoptober.

The number of people quitting successfully rose to 19.8 percent during the first six months of 2017, the report claims, which is significantly higher than the 15.7 percent average for the last 10 years.

And while success rates have until now been consistently low among people who are less well-off, for the first time smokers in manual occupational groups have virtually the same chances of quitting as those in white collar jobs.

The UCL reports suggests there are a number of reasons why there’s never been a better time to quit, including the following:

  • Today there are better and more options for those who need help with quitting.
  • Smokers face more restrictions and smoking bans.
  • Attractive brand imagery on cigarette and tobacco packaging has been banned.
  • A strong anti-smoking culture has developed in England.
  • Smokers also get encouragement to quit via effective stop smoking campaigns, such as Stoptober.

Indeed, since its launch in 2012, Stoptober has inspired more than one and a half million quit attempts, says Public Health England. The campaign, it claims, is based on research that if you stop smoking for 28 days you’re five times more likely to stop for good.

“I think the advances and wider choice of effective quitting options and a strong anti-smoking culture are fuelling this acceleration,” says UCL’s Robert West, Professor of Health Psychology and Director of Tobacco Studies.

“Thinking about giving up may be daunting, but all the evidence shows there has never been an easier time to stop. Quitting needn’t be the painful journey it used to be and the support you can get from Stoptober will increase your chances of succeeding.”

Professor John Newton, PHE’s director of health improvement, also adds that anyone who has already made several quit attempts shouldn’t be put off trying again. “Join in with Stoptober and benefit from free support direct to your phone, laptop or tablet via the Stoptober app, a daily email giving support or Facebook Messenger, free face-to-face support plus a raft of advice and information on the website.

“Search Stoptober online and join the thousands of others who go smoke free once and for all this year.”

If you need support with quitting at any time of year, many Careway pharmacies offer stop smoking services that could give you the boost you need to be successful. Find your nearest participating Careway pharmacy by using our Pharmacy Finder.

There’s also lots of the latest news, tips and advice on quitting on our Giving up smoking page.