We won’t quit: No Smoking Day makes a promise to 10 million UK smokers

Corinne Pritchard
smoking getty 300x225 We won’t quit: No Smoking Day makes a promise to 10 million UK smokers

(Getty Images(

When Mr Tom Hurst first wrote to the Minister for Health asking for a national day to help people stop smoking, the reply was unequivocal: “the Minister feels he is unable to support campaigns which might mislead the public into assuming that a causal relationship between tobacco smoking and cancer had been definitely proved.”

Even when the historic research paper linking tobacco consumption with lung cancer by Richard Doll and Austin Bradford Hill emerged in the mid-1950s, support for anti-smoking initiatives – and those who wanted to give up, was slow in coming.

No Smoking Day unofficially began in 1983, the brainchild of the same Mr Tom Hurst and a collection of medical experts, including Professor John Camm, now the British Heart Foundation Prudential Chair of Clinical Cardiology. On Ash Wednesday the following year, No Smoking Day officially launched. Thirty No Smoking Days later, it’s still here, with 750,000 smokers using the day as a catalyst for change.

Some things are different. The campaign has increasingly moved away from health messaging – finding that smokers are increasingly jaded by the idea of long term health risks. But the yearly format has meant the day can be constantly refreshed. This year it’s all about the money, and those who want to quit are being encouraged to ‘swap their fags for swag’.

And what was a government and charity-funded campaign for many years is now backed almost entirely by one charity – the British Heart Foundation. Smoking doubles a person’s risk of heart attack, a major concern for the nation’s heart charity.

Smoking levels have halved in the last forty years, but that’s not the whole story. For the last six years the number of smokers in the UK has stalled at 20 per cent – that’s 10 million smokers.

This final fifth are from all walks of life, but manual workers are disproportionately represented at 28 per cent of the total remaining. In Scotland, four in ten adults living in the most deprived areas smoke, compared to just one in 10 in the least deprived. And in England, an estimated 40 per cent of men in Bangladeshi communities smoke – double the rate in the general population.

A British Heart Foundation survey of smokers found that eight out of 10 smokers have tried and failed to quit, with an average of four quit attempts each. And for them, and the two thirds of smokers who still say they want to quit, No Smoking Day will be here until every day is no smoking day.

Get support and advice to help you quit smoking, and see the report into the future of smoking in the UK at

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  • mercury51

    why on earth would anyone that was not a sheep wish to give up smoking, save for the expense?

    the individual does as he chooses, no doubt reasonably taking into account various opinions and speculations as he sees fit while applying his common sense.the proposition that smoking tobacco causes cancer is_a_simple_*lie.

    the proposition that humans are mechanically credulous and timid is demonstrably true. you can prove beyond any reasonable doubt that smoking tobacco does **not*** *cause* cancer as follows: smoke a cigarette and see if you get cancer.

    you won’t, …… and…. you damn…… well…… know….. it.

    so…. much….. for…. supposed.. causation.

    or, hold any object in the air; does something cause it to fall towards the bottom? you can find out for yourself-no b belief….. required.

    take my point.?

    causes… my aunt fanny.
    does modernism*cause* beings to lose their common sense?just look around you.
    humans are weak on causation; they must be, or they wouldn’t vote labour and have silly ideas about things that they call, but cannot define, like fairness and, even more preposterous, ‘equality’. they feel, but never think.

    if the body and emotions say ‘jump’! the rest of the being merely asks ‘how high?’ test it for yourself, try denying either any of their wants/likes.

    helpless aren’t you? dey de man.
    don’t believe me, give it a try.

    my trick? – I know how to discriminate between the functions; you can too; it’s not calculus. you just ask is this body mind or emotion?-once you know, you know which is de boss. any fool can do it, if I can.

    ey up, some liar told you you were one eh?
    he lied, you are at least three, try it out for yourself, this is science, not religion. try it.

  • mercury51

    all true except that smoking is harmless, unless you are a modernist, to which I was going to prefix credulous, but that would be otiose. there is a bizarre *belief* that smoking tobacco *causes* cancer. like many of the beliefs of humans it is wholly fanciful. they never examine the *motives*of those that lie to them; they are like children.
    test it out: put a cigarette between you lips, light it and in hale, did you get cancer?
    smoking *causes*cancer my aunt fanny.
    it *obviously* doesn’t.
    if you want beings to *believe* a lie just keep repeating it. they’ll believe any old guff, they can’t help it.

    modernism causes humans to be stupid?-just look around you.

    the more cogent the argument the more hysterical an abusive they get; as they are about to prove.

    teee hee.

  • mercury51

    who says?

    you, credulous?


    tee hee

  • mercury51

    ah, the fallacy of authority.

    it’s still a fallacy,

  • mercury51

    only cowards and the weak are concerned with safety.

    life…… ain’t…… safe.

    do you ‘really’ need telling?

    somewhere or other there’s a very deep hole and a tin hat.

    you can hide all you like but you must die.

    do you ‘really’ need telling?
    face it you are afraid of something you have b never experienced; imagination is a strange thing.

    no charge.
    you’ve been born and died an innumerable number of times, god love you, you are too asleep to know or remember and don’t *want* to, do you?

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