Recently published data shows that quit smoking rates are at their highest ever for ten years, after seeing a huge jump in the first 6 months of 2017.

And experts believe that it is a combination of better smoking cessation methods, alongside anti-smoking legislation that has caused what is the biggest jump in ten years.

One reason is ‘better and more quitting aid options’ available, with ecigarettes taking the top spot as the most popular tool to help people stop smoking.

For the last ten years the quit smoking rate average has been consistent at 15.7%, whereas the first 6 months of 2017 saw the rate rocket to 19.8%.

And the result is largely down to the less-well off category increasing its quit rates. The data shows that for the first time manual workers have the same chance of stopping as those working in an office environment.

October sees the annual NHS stop smoking campaign Stoptober, which since its launch in 2012 has resulted in 1.5 million attempts to quit.  And University College London, which published the data, listed the following reasons for the increased success:

  • Better and more quitting aid options, with e-cigarettes now the most popular
  • More restrictions on smoking
  • Banning the use of attractive brand imagery on tobacco packaging
  • A strong anti-smoking culture in England
  • Effective stop smoking campaigns such as Stoptober
  • E-cigarettes are the most popular quitting method in England and local stop smoking services are the most effective way to give up, with those who combine the two having some of the highest success rates. Last year over half (53%) of all those taking part in Stoptober opted to use an ecigarette as a quitting aid. This year the campaign will feature e-cigarettes in the TV ad and will do more to encourage and support smokers who are keen to try ecigarettes to help them stop smoking.

“Ecigarettes are now the most popular way to quit in the country with half of all those taking part in Stoptober last year using an ecigarette,” said Professor John Newton, Director of Health Improvement at PHE.  “The evidence is clear – vaping is much less harmful than smoking, a fraction of the risk. So if you’ve struggled with quitting before, an ecigarette may be the best option for you.

Earlier this year the government introduced new rules that increased the price of cigarettes, designed specifically to target the lower-earning smokers.  The move saw a basic tax increase which increased the average price of cigarettes to around £9 per pack for the lowest priced brands.

Vaping and ecigarettes were also subject to tougher legislation, however much of this is seemingly yet to be enforced, suggesting that the government is taking a pragmatic approach to vaping.

Smoking is still one of the country’s biggest killers with 79,000 deaths a year attributed to smoking and for each death a further 20 people will have a smoking related illness.

Research shows that if you stop smoking for 28 days, you are 5 times more likely to stop for good, and is the basis for the Stoptober campaign.