Smokers across Greater Manchester are far more likely to succeed in stopping smoking than they were a decade ago according to research released in time for this year’s Stoptober campaign. New data published today shows quitting success rates at their highest for at least a decade.

In a major turnaround, the sharp increase in quitting success has been notable among those less well-off. The research report published by University College London, shows that for the first time, any smoker – no matter their background or job, sex, age or where they live – has virtually the same chance of quitting successfully as the next person.

The Stoptober quit smoking challenge, launching today, has inspired over one and a half million quit attempts since 2012. The campaign is based on research that if you stop smoking for 28 days you are five times more likely to stop for good.

In Greater Manchester smoking rates have been falling consistently over the past few years. As more and more people stop smoking for good, partners have launched an ambition to further reduce smoking rates by one third by 2021, that’s more than 100,000 people stopping smoking together across our city region.

 Sarah Price, Population Health Director at the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, said:

“I congratulate those who are succeeding with stopping smoking. They are an inspiration to all those planning to quit this Stoptober.

“Now everyone who wants to stop smoking this Stoptober can find all the Stoptober tools, help and support they need from our new Greater Manchester digital hub – My City Health. Local stop smoking services offer a range of support including nicotine replacement therapies such as patches and gum, along with expert face-to-face support. Many people are finding e-cigarettes helpful and, the Stoptober app, emails and Facebook Messenger service are all available.”

Dr Matt Evison, Consultant in Respiratory Medicine at the University Hospital South Manchester and leading Lung Cancer specialist, said:

“Smoking kills thousands of people every year across Greater Manchester and for every death another 20 smokers are suffering from a smoking-related disease. It’s never too late to stop. Anyone, no matter what their age, will feel the benefits within days, weeks and months. They will notice reduced blood pressure, easier breathing, better circulation and improved mental health, and could save themselves years of serious ill-health. There are more options than ever to help treat tobacco addiction and it is never too late to ask for help.”

With Stoptober now in its 6th year, the report from University College London provides a number of reasons why there’s never been a better time to quit, including:

  • better and more quitting aid options, with e-cigarettes now the most popular;
  • more restrictions on smoking;
  • the introduction of plain tobacco packaging;
  • a stronger anti-smoking culture in England; and
  • supportive stop smoking campaigns such as Stoptober.

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester said:

“The latest success rates show that advances in support and a stronger anti-smoking culture are leading to more people successfully stopping smoking. I am always impressed at anyone who successfully manages to quit smoking and I hope to congratulate many more come the end of Stoptober as Greater Manchester gets behind those taking on the 28-day challenge. Good Luck!”

Last year more than half (53%) of all those taking part in Stoptober opted to use an e-cigarette as a quitting aid. This year, the national campaign will feature e-cigarettes in the TV ad and will do more to encourage and support smokers who are keen to try e-cigarettes to help them stop smoking.