Recession leads 1 in 3 Smokers to cut Down or Quit

By Prne, Gaea News Network
Tuesday, March 10, 2009

LONDON - New research released to mark No Smoking Day (11 March) shows more than
one in three (36%) of the nine million smokers in Great Britain are thinking
about or planning to cut down or quit as a direct result of the economic
downturn. The poll also shows that one in ten (9%) will be taking the first
step and making a quit attempt on No Smoking Day.

No Smoking Day President and Dragons’ Den star, Duncan Bannatyne,
commented on the findings: “Everybody is feeling the pinch during the current

“For smokers, who can spend over GBP2000 a year on cigarettes, it’s
particularly tough, so for those who are ready to quit there has never been a
better time.”

Women are more likely to cut down or think about giving up (40% compared
to 32% of male smokers). The report also found:

- 43% of smokers in Scotland and 33% of smokers in Wales are thinking
about or planning to cut down or quit because of the recession

- Smokers in the Midlands are most likely to quit because of the

Almost three-quarters[1] of smokers would like to quit and No Smoking Day
is encouraging them to take the first step today by seeking advice from their
local stop smoking service, GP or pharmacist.

Dan Tickle, Chief Executive of the No Smoking Day charity said: “Giving
up cigarettes will boost your bank balance - but the health benefits are even
greater, including easier breathing, improved fitness and healthier hair,
nails and skin. It’s a fact that quitters also notice they have more energy
after only a matter of days.

“By choosing No Smoking Day to quit, smokers will be joining a million
others taking the first step to a healthier - and wealthier life. And you
don’t have to quit alone. You’re four times more likely to succeed if you use
a free NHS Stop Smoking Service.”

Gemma Bissix, ex-Eastenders star and Dancing on Ice celebrity, who
recently stopped smoking with the help of her local NHS Stop Smoking Service
and supports No Smoking Day said: “There’s only one piece of advice that I’d
give to someone who wants to get fit for summer - quit smoking! So why not
use No Smoking Day on 11 March to kick start you new healthy living? I
stopped smoking with the support of my local NHS Stop Smoking Service.”

There are a number of events taking place across the UK to mark No
Smoking Day including the “switch ash for cash” schools challenge set by
Duncan Bannatyne.

The Dragons’ Den star has been inundated with ideas from school children
to help parents give up smoking, and three finalists will be presenting their
ideas to him this afternoon in central London.

The winner will receive GBP2000 for their school and a GBP250 gift token
for their family.

To take the first step and find your local stop smoking service log onto To view Gemma’s webcast, visit

Notes to Editors

- For photographs of Duncan Bannatyne, Dan Tickle, or for take
the first step graphics, contact the No Smoking Day team (details

- Case studies of celebrity and real-life quitters are available from the
No Smoking Day team (details below).

- No Smoking Day is organised by a charity of the same name run
by four full time staff. Based in London, the charity is funded by a
coalition of governmental and voluntary sector organisations with an
interest in health.

The charity aims to help people who want to stop smoking by creating a
supportive environment for them, and by highlighting the many sources of help
available to people who want to quit.

- Duncan Bannatyne holds an OBE and was recently awarded an
honorary Doctorate of Science from Glasgow Caledonian University for
services to business and charity. Earlier this month he was also
awarded an honorary degree in business from Teeside University. He has
been involved with charities including UNICEF and Scottish
International Relief, and he has recently launched the Bannatyne
Charitable Trust to support worthwhile causes.

He has appeared on Dragons’ Den since its first series.

- All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.
Total sample size was 4511 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between
12th and 18th February 2009. The survey was conducted online. The
figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults
(aged 18+).

- There are 9.4 million Smokers in the UK (Smoking and drinking
among adults, 2007)

- ISDN line available for interviews.

- National stop smoking telephone help lines:

England - 0800-169-0-169

Northern Ireland - 0800-85-85-85

Scotland - 0800-84-84-84

Wales - 0800-169-0-169

For further information, contact Elana McIntyre, PR & Marketing Manager
or Vishnee Sauntoo, Marketing Director on +44(0)20-7739-5110 email: /

Out of office press mobile: +44(0)7770-657-241

[1] NHS Smokefree factsheet: facts on quitting

Source: No Smoking Day

For further information, contact Elana McIntyre, PR & Marketing Manager or Vishnee Sauntoo, Marketing Director on +44(0)20-7739-5110 email: elana at / vishnee at; Out of office press mobile: +44(0)7770-657-241

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