Smoking prevalence among adults in England is at a record low of 13.9%, new data from the UCL Smoking Toolkit Study shows.
Additionally, in England in 2020 there has been an increase of nearly a quarter (22%) in quit attempts compared to 2019 and an increase of almost two-thirds in the quitting success rate from 14% to 23%, the highest since at least 2007.
‘It has never been more important to take care of ourselves, and quitting smoking is a great way to start,’ said Jo Churchill, Public Health Minister.
‘With smoking rates already at an all-time low and 2020 seeing more people stopping than ever, I urge all smokers to join in Stoptober to improve their health and help England become a smoke-free society by 2030.’
The message is particularly prescient during the COVID-19 pandemic, as smokers generally have an increased risk of contracting respiratory infections and experiencing more severe symptoms. Stopping smoking brings immediate benefits to health, including for people with an existing smoking-related disease.
‘It's true that 2020 has been an unprecedented year for all of us and has reminded us how important our health is. We are pleased to see that quitting rates have been extremely high so far this year and Stoptober is back to help support England’s remaining smokers to join in the national quit attempt,’ said Scott Crosby, Tobacco Control Programme Manager at Public Health England.
‘It is never too late to quit. Even if you have an existing smoking-related condition, stopping smoking brings immediate health benefits. We know that smoking damages the lungs and weakens the immune system and so now, ahead of flu season, is an ideal time to put your lung health first.’