Stop smoking campaign prompts 50% rise in quit attempts

An extra 350,000 people attempted to give up smoking in October 2012 as part of a DH campaign, saving thousands of years of life, research has found.

The Stoptober campaign encouraged people to give up smoking for 28 days
The Stoptober campaign encouraged people to give up smoking for 28 days

A study by University College London found the 'Stoptober' campaign boosted quit attempts by 50% and saved an estimated 10,400 years of life at a cost of just £550 per year saved.

Researchers looked at data from a large national survey of smokers and ex-smokers in England between 2007 and 2012 to examine estimated quit rates during the campaign.

Lead author Dr Jamie Brown said: ‘The data clearly show Stoptober resulted in a large increase in the number of people stopping smoking in England. The £5.8m spent on the campaign by the DH appears to have been an excellent investment.’

Kevin Fenton, national director of health and wellbeing at Public Health England, said: 'We are thrilled to have such powerful results for the campaign and so many people making an attempt to give up smoking. Stoptober is now an annual feature in the Smokefree programme and we will continue to build on its success and push the boundaries of what it can achieve.'

The first Stoptober campaign in 2012 encouraged smokers across the country to quit smoking for the month of October. Adverts to support the campaign were widely broadcast via TV, press and online.

The campaign led with the message that stopping smoking for 28 days means you are five times more likely to quit for good.

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