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No Smoking Day: Be Proud to be a Quitter

BE proud to be a quitter! That’s the message to smokers stopping for No Smoking Day this year (Wed 9 March) and to thousands of people who have quit in the past.


The North East has had the largest reduction in smoking in England over the last decade with fewer people smoking than ever before. However, nearly one in five (19.9%)  North East adults continue to smoke – despite the fact around two-thirds of smokers would like to be able to quit.


The message comes from Fresh ahead of the British Heart Foundation's 33rd annual No Smoking Day campaign.


It comes as the British Heart Foundation also released data to show that more than 1 million smokers in England used an e-cigarette in an attempt to stop smoking last year. E-cigarettes have overtaken licensed nicotine replacement therapies such as NRT, gum or skin patches as the most popular form of support to stop smoking, and they continue to increase in popularity.


Ailsa Rutter, Director of Fresh, said: "Quitting smoking is something people can be rightly proud of. It can take willpower and a determination to make a new start, but it's something tens of thousands of people in the region have done and have never looked back.


"It can also be a domino effect. When one person quits they will often encourage a friend or family member to stop as well. That's something to be proud of too.


"There are countless mums, dads, grans, grandparents and partners who have stopped smoking because they want to be around longer for the people they love. Quitting can also be an instant pay rise. There are so many good reasons to stop smoking and it can be done.


"Electronic cigarettes do not contain tar and are much less harmful than tobacco on the current evidence. It is clear they have helped tens of thousands of smokers to stop. But worryingly some smokers still wrongly believe they are as risky as tobacco, and it that might be stopping some people switching completely.


"One in every two tobacco smokers will die from a smoking related disease but quitting immediately lowers the risks."


The annual No Smoking Day campaign is run by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and encourages hundreds of thousands of smokers to make a quit attempt on No Smoking Day.


Dr Mike Knapton, Associate Medical Director at the BHF, said: "Giving up smoking is the single best thing you can do for your health, and that's why the British Heart Foundation runs No Smoking Day. We're encouraging smokers to mark Wednesday 9 March in their calendars, and take the first step towards a smoke-free life."


The proportion of North East smokers fell from 22.3% of people smoking in 2013 down to 19.9% in 2014. The figures were from the Integrated Household Survey published by the Office for National Statistics.


There are now 165,000 fewer smokers in the North East than there were in 2005, when 29% of people smoked.


For smokers who have tried to quit before, No Smoking Day is the perfect opportunity to give quitting another go. Smokers can access support to quit from their local stop smoking service (details below) or online at You can also join in the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #NoSmokingDay.


Live Well Gateshead 0800 014 9092
South Tyneside 0191 424 7300
Sunderland 0800 107 0741
Northumberland 01670 813 135
North Tyneside 0345 2000 101
Newcastle 0191 269 1103
County Durham 0800 011 3405
Tees (Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, Stockton and Hartlepool) 01642 383 819
Darlington 0300 123 1044 (national quitline only)