Success rates for giving up smoking 'highest on record' in 2017

Smoking quit-rates have reached the level highest on record throughout the first six months of 2017, with one in five people attempting to quit successfully giving up the habit.

Smoking rates have fallen. | iStock
Smoking rates have fallen. | iStock

Data published by University College London (UCL) showed that quitting success reached 20% for the first six months of this year, compared to the average of 16% over the last decade.

Experts said there had ‘never been a better time to stop smoking’. The data comes at the launch of the annual Stoptober campaign, a ‘mass quit’ event that supports people to give up smoking.

This year will see TV adverts run as part of the Stoptober campaign - now in its sixth year - backing e-cigarettes for the first time.

Last year, 53% of those taking part in Stoptober opted to use e-cigarettes as a quitting aid. Campaigners hope that endorsing e-cigarettes will help convince and support more people to quit the habit.

Quitting smoking

Deputy chief medical officer Professor Gina Radford said: ‘The battle against smoking is far from over – it is still the country’s biggest killer, causing 79,000 deaths a year. And for every death, another 20 smokers are suffering from a smoking-related disease.

‘Far too many people are still dying as a result of smoking but there has never been a better time to quit – the culture has changed, strong legislation is in place and effective support is available.’

Professor John Newton, PHE director of health improvement said: ‘E-cigarettes are now the most popular way to quit in the country with half of all those taking part in Stoptober last year using an e-cigarette.

‘The evidence is clear – vaping is much less harmful than smoking – a fraction of the risk. So if you’ve struggled with quitting before, an e-cigarette may be the best option for you.’

The Stoptober campaign begins on 1 October and runs throughout the month.

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