Posted on 4th October 2018
Since 2012 the Government has been committed to try and get the nation off cigarettes.
Although funding has fluctuated over the years for the campaign nobody can argue with the fact that it is the duty of Public Heath England to inform and assist the smoking population in its quit attempt.
Broadly speaking the efforts seem to have paid off in so much as 16% of all smokers made a quit attempt in the month of October 2017 and 8% of all smokers sustained quitting for over one month.
In 2017, 400,000 smokers successfully kicked the habit or put another way over 1000 people per day. According to the UK government findings 76% of all smokers are aware of Stoptober as a “thing”.
There are certain rumblings going around at the moment which suggests that the Government is finally behind all things quit and this includes the “Switch strategy” which simply means swap out one really bad thing for something that is not as bad.
It is unreasonable to suggest that the whole world will give up smoking but in the United Kingdom it is not impossible to think within the next ten years as switch products continue to improve that the smoking rates will be in low single figures and that would be a great achievement.
E-cigarettes are not gateway products for non-smokers, and reduced harm products should be encouraged not discouraged to help people to quit.
With regard to heat not burn products part of that strategy must surely be taxation. The grown-up thinking must be that these are not gateway products for non-smokers but switch products for existing smokers and therefore in taxation terms the Government must now look favourably on heated tobacco products and tax at a rate that actively encourages the switch.
Although too late for this year if we get it in time for Stoptober 2019 then I think those quit attempt rates will for the first time go over 20% and that has to be a good thing.
Remember this as a simple fact. If you can make it to 28 days smoke free you are five times more likely to quit for good.
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