top of page

Urgent Call to Smokes to Make a Quit Attempt for No Smoking Day

Smokers in England are being urged to make a quit attempt this No Smoking Day to improve their health and wealth

Urgent Call to Smokes to Make a Quit Attempt for No Smoking Day
Urgent Call to Smokes to Make a Quit Attempt for No Smoking Day
  • 5.3 million smokers in England urged to make a quit attempt this No Smoking Day, as one of the best things they can do for their health and their wealth  

  • With up to two in three long-term smokers dying from smoking and causing 64,000 deaths in England each year - No Smoking Day remains important 40 years on from its launch  

  • It’s never too late to quit’: presenter Coleen Nolan tells us why she is stopping smoking following a recent health scare and reassures others on taking first steps to a smokefree life  

  • It comes as the Prime Minister’s landmark legislation to create a smokefree generation is due to be introduced

Leading charities, including ASH, Cancer Research UK and Asthma + Lung UK, are joining forces with the government to encourage the nation’s 5.3 million smokers to make a quit attempt this No Smoking Day, 13 March.  

The campaign comes as part of the government’s bold plans to bring about the first smokefree generation and introduce legislation so children turning fifteen this year or younger can never legally be sold tobacco.  Almost every minute of every day someone is admitted to hospital in England with a smoking-related disease and in 2022-23 there were over 400,000 hospital admissions in England due to smoking.   

Quitting smoking is the best thing you can do for your health, at any age, and the benefits begin immediately. After eight hours your oxygen levels recover and the harmful carbon monoxide level in your blood will have reduced by half. After 48 hours all carbon monoxide will have flushed out, your lungs will clear out mucus and your sense of taste and smell improve.  

Stopping smoking is also one of the best things people can do to save money to spend on other things. The average smoker spends around £47 a week on tobacco, which is around £2,450 a year. More broadly, it costs society over £17 billion per year, which includes a £14 billion cost to productivity and £3 billion cost to the NHS and social care.  

Public Health Minister Andrea Leadsom said:   

Smoking is the biggest preventable killer in the UK and places a huge burden on our NHS. Cigarettes are responsible for 64,000 deaths a year in England - no other consumer product kills up to two-thirds of its users.   That’s why No Smoking Day is still so important 40 years on from its launch.  We are taking action to prevent our children from ever lighting a cigarette, and our proposed historic Tobacco and Vapes Bill will safeguard the next generation from the harms of smoking and risk of addiction.

Up to two in three long-term smokers will die from their smoking. Despite the harms associated with smoking, it’s estimated that nearly 50 million cigarettes are smoked every day in England, with every single one negatively impacting the smoker’s health.  

Chief Medical Officer for England Professor ​​Chris Whitty said:   

Cigarettes kill. They cause at least 15 different types of cancers and increase your risk of developing more than 50 serious health conditions.  Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health - no matter your age or how long you have smoked.

Today, presenter, singer and TV personality Coleen Nolan – who smoked for over 40 years and is currently on her quitting journey following a health scare – shares her story to encourage others to join her. 


Singer and presenter Coleen Nolan said: 

I smoked for about 40 years and was heavily influenced by my friends and family around me. At such a young age I wasn’t aware of the health risks of smoking and soon found myself becoming addicted. Following a recent health scare, I realised how precious life is and became determined to quit, not just for my own health, but so I can be there fully for my children and grandchildren. To anyone out there thinking of giving up smoking, my advice is do it!   

She is joined by ex-smoker and cancer survivor Sue Mountain who shares her story in a bid to urge smokers to quit smoking before it’s too late. Sue features in a powerful TV advert released by the department as part of a new Smokefree campaign, encouraging people to quit smoking.  

Sue Mountain said:   

I never once thought I’d get cancer. Not once. To tell your family you’ve got cancer through smoking, is really hard. My kids thought they were going to lose their mam.

Smoking rates have reduced by two-thirds since the first year of No Smoking Day 40 years ago, but smoking is still the single largest preventable cause of death in England – estimated to account for 64,000 deaths annually.   

Stopping smoking is the best thing people can do for their health, and it can significantly reduce the risk of younger people taking up smoking and becoming addicted. Currently, four in five smokers start before the age of 20 and smoking from a younger age is linked to being more likely to smoke in later years.

Better Health offers a range of free quitting support, including a ​​local stop smoking services look-up tool and advice on stop smoking aids, including information on how vaping can help you quit smoking.  

As part of the government’s Swap to Stop scheme, almost one in five of all adult smokers in England will have access to a vape kit alongside behavioural support to help them quit the habit and improve health outcomes.    

Plans to introduce the most significant public health intervention in a generation and phase out smoking are progressing at pace, with the UK now in the lead to be the first country in the world to create a smokefree generation. The government is proposing the phasing out of the sale of tobacco so that any child born on or after 1 January 2009 can never legally be sold cigarettes.   

Be part of the change and help build a smokefree generation. For free support to quit this No Smoking Day, search ‘Smokefree’.   

Notes to Editors  


bottom of page