Fastest drop in smoking rates in over a decade as Stoptober launches

Date published: 08 October 2019

Smokers in the borough of Rochdale are being encouraged to join the 200 people in England who quit smoking every hour.

Latest figures suggest that smoking rates in England are dropping at the fastest rate in over a decade. Not smoking is now the norm in England but despite smoking rates being lower than ever before, millions still smoke across the country.

Across the borough of Rochdale 16.2% of adults smoke, which equates to 27,000 people. The number of smokers falls year by year and the ambition is to bring this figure down to 13% of adults by 2021.

Stoptober is back to help encourage smokers to make a quit attempt and join those who have already quit this year.

Public Health England is encouraging all smokers to join in with the nation’s biggest quit attempt by providing them with the support and information they need to “split up” with smoking this Stoptober.

Boroughs across Greater Manchester are working with Hits Radio to deliver extra support to those looking to quit smoking as part of the campaign. A roadshow event took place at Morrisons on Kingsway, providing hopeful quitters with face-to-face advice and support on quitting smoking.


A potential quitter, Bertie Butt and a Living Well stop smoking advisor at the Hits Radio roadshow
A potential quitter, Bertie Butt and a Living Well stop smoking advisor at the Hits Radio roadshow


The stop smoking service also visited Rochdale AFC’s home game against Wycombe Wanderers where Desmond the Dragon and Bertie Butt, Rochdale Borough Council’s stop smoking mascot, promoted Stoptober.

Stoptober has supported over 1.9 million people on their quit journey to date – if a smoker can make it to 28 days smoke free, they are five times more likely to quit for good. Stoptober’s free quitting support includes the Stoptober app, Facebook messenger bot, daily emails, a Personal Quit Plan and Stoptober online communities.

Councillor Wendy Cocks, assistant cabinet member for health and wellbeing at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “Stoptober is a brilliant time to end your relationship with smoking with so much support available.

“We are really encouraged to see that the amount of people who smoke in Rochdale is falling and we will continue to work with smokers until we make smoking history.”

Research has shown that while many smokers want to quit, they face common barriers including putting off quitting until another time and a fear of failure. Smokers can get expert face-to-face support from local stop smoking services, and those who do are three times as likely to quit successfully as those who try to quit using willpower alone.

Additionally, GPs and pharmacists can also give advice and tips to help smokers quit, including what stop smoking aids might be right for them. Support from family and friends is also an important factor in quitting smoking, and these networks are encouraged to support a smoker as they give up smoking.

Dr Aggy York, local GP and clinical board member at NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The shocking fact is one in two long term smokers will die from a smoking related disease - some of them in their 40s. Smoking is the leading cause of premature death and disease and over 4,500 people die from smoking in Greater Manchester every year – that’s 13 people a day.

“Stopping smoking is one of the most important things that people can do for their health and with support from Stoptober and Living Well Rochdale’s stop smoking service, this month is the right time to kick the habit for good.”

If you want support to stop smoking get in touch with Living Well Rochdale on 01706 751 190 or visit the Stoptober website:

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