Public Health England (PHE) has encouraged smokers to 'split up with smoking' as it gears up for the 2019 Stoptober campaign.
The annual stop smoking campaign, which launches on 1 October, encourages all smokers to join what PHE describes as the nation’s biggest quit attempt.
The latest figures from the University College London Smoking Toolkit Study suggest that smoking rates in England are dropping at the fastest rate in over a decade, with around 200 fewer smokers every hour. PHE claims that since launching in 2012, Stoptober has supported over 1.9 million people on their quit journey.
However, public health statistics show there are still millions who continue to smoke.
Yvonne Doyle, director for health protection and medical director at PHE, said: “It’s really encouraging to see these early signs of such a fast drop in smokers but we’ve still got a way to go to achieve our ambition of a smoke-free society. That’s why Stoptober is back and we are encouraging all smokers to take part.
"Giving up smoking is the best thing a smoker can do for their health and it can also help save money – in just 28 days smokers will start to notice so many benefits.”
This year’s theme focuses on the relationship between someone who smokes and cigarettes and urges them to re-evaluate their relationship with smoking by 'splitting up' with the habit.
The campaign centres on a short film that starts by showing an emotional break up, before revealing that the person has been talking to a man dressed as a large cigarette.
Pharmacies and pharmacy teams are often cited as a key resource to help smokers who wish to quit. Statistics show that smokers who receive support are three times more likely to quit successfully than those who try to quit using willpower alone.
Campaign resources are available from PHE and the ‘split up’ creative will feature on digital, radio and out-of-home advertisements throughout the campaign period to help keep smokers motivated. There will also be additional support for quitters via an app, Facebook Messenger bot, daily emails, a personal quit plan and Stoptober online communities.