Smokers in Sunderland are being challenged to take part together in Stoptober and join the nearly 15 million people across the country who have already binned cigarettes
The smoking rate across the North East has fallen from 29% of people smoking in 2005 to 22% smoking in 2012 and 18.7% smoking in 2015 – a drop of 3.3% over the past four years and around 189,000 fewer smokers in the last decade.
Alongside this, according to the latest data from consumer survey group Nielsen, the number of cigarettes sold in the North East also dropped by 13.01% in 2015.
Last year, out of the 2.5 million smokers who made a quit attempt, 500,000 people (20%) were successful - the highest recorded success rate and up from just 13.6% six years ago.
Ailsa Rutter, Director of Fresh, said: “Most smokers would like to be able to quit and every quit attempt is different.
“Even if you have tried before but failed, give it another go this Stoptober.
“There’s never been so much support out there that is helping people find their own best way to quit, from electronic cigarettes to stop smoking services who now welcome people using their own ecigs to stop.”
Councillor John Kelly, Sunderland City Council’s portfolio holder for public health, said: “Smokers who stop feel healthier and wealthier.
“Many of us will know somebody who is ill or has died because of their smoking and it is the biggest cause of preventable death in the UK.
“If you stop you live longer and Stoptober is a good way to give up.
“This is because research has shown how if you can give up smoking for 28 days you’re five times more likely to quit. So, there’s very good reasons to sign up for Stoptober.”
For information and support on stopping smoking, contact Sunderland Live Life Well on 0800 107 0741 or ask at your GP surgery or local pharmacy.
Claire Sullivan, deputy director for Health & Wellbeing for Public Health England, said: “It is great to see nearly 50,000 people signing up to Stoptober in the first four years and it has become the second “New Year” for quit attempts. Join in, keep positive and believe you can quit.
“And if you know someone quitting, give them loads of encouragement!”
Dr Gina Radford, deputy chief Medical officer, said: “While we know that quitting smoking is not easy, this Stoptober is a perfect time to try again.
“The best thing a smoker can do for their health is to stop smoking.
“There is more help and support available now than ever before.”
For more information, search ‘Stoptober’ online and choose the package of support that will help you quit for good, including details of your nearest stop smoking services.