Welsh Government launched a new anti-smoking campaign called Stoptober in order to reduce the number of smokers across the country. It is expected that the campaign will help Welsh Government to bring down smoking rates in the country to 16% by 2020.
At present, in Wales smoke almost 570,000 people (23%) which remained the same for three years and has only dropped by 1% since smoking ban was introduced in 2007.
For the first time the campaign was introduced in 2012 in England and due to it more than 160,000 people give up smoking for 4 weeks.
Dr Ruth Hussey from Chief Medical Officer launched the campaign at Cardiff Central train station where Arriva Trains Wales is supporting the initiative. Hussey said that those who quit smoking with the help of Stoptober campaign were more likely to give up smoking permanently. She says that almost 70% of people want to quit smoking and a 28-day step-by-step programme can encourage them to stop smoking for 28 days. During this period of time they will begin to feel all the benefits of quitting smoking including better sense of smell and taste as well as reducing their risk of heart diseases.
A study showed that if a man can stop smoking for 28 days, he is 5 times more likely to give up smoking cigarettes permanently. Various health organisations welcomed the anti-smoking campaign but said it should work together with other measures.
Chris Mulholland, who is chief of British Lung Foundation Wales, said they are delighted to support the Stoptober campaign because rates of smoking in Wales remained unchangable for several years, and now it is important to take effective measure to reduce the number of smokers. Introduction of plain packaging and smoking ban in cars are some of the steps that need to be actioned in the tobacco control strategy.
Elen de Lacy, chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) in Wales said that they will support the Welsh Government to get the message out across the Wales and will encourage people to sign up to the 28 day quit smoking challenge through October.
- English smokers being encourage to give up for 28 days
- Stoptober 2012 in England: 350,000 Attempts to Quit Smoking
- Wales car smoke child protection considered