No Smoking Day is a national campaign that encourages the nation’s smokers to try to quit for a day. It is an opportunity to get people thinking about a more positive smoke free future. This year’s theme is ‘Quitting smoking doesn’t have to be stressful.’
Smoking is the world's leading cause of preventable illness and death. In 2019, 6.9 million people in the UK over the age of 18 smoked. While overall levels of smoking continue to decrease in the UK, according to the Office of National Statistics smoking remains high among manual and construction workers. Data shows that in 2019 most smokers worked in routine and manual occupations and were from low income groups with around 1 in 4 people who smoke compared with just 1 in 10 people in managerial and professional occupations.
One in every two people who smoke will die of a smoking-related disease unless they quit. So, No Smoking Day is a good opportunity to look at what we can all do to help, especially employers who have a duty to look after their workers’ health. Public Health England offers a range of resources to help stop smoking that are available here. British Safety Council also offers support to employers and workers as part of its new Being Well Together programme.
We know that stress and concern about our health is on the rise due to COVID, which may encourage fewer smokers to quit. This No Smoking Day we want to take the opportunity to inform smokers that quitting can be less stressful than they fear and can ultimately improve their sense of wellbeing. Quitting smoking doesn’t have to feel painful – stop smoking aids can really help. Research shows that smokers who quit for six weeks or more, are happier and experience less anxiety and depression than those who carry on smoking, and that people who have quit smoking for a year, are happier than those who continue to smoke.
Mike Robinson, Chief Executive at the British Safety Council, commented:
“We all know stopping smoking improves physical health, but it also improves mood, relieves anxiety and stress, and in the long run helps people to be calmer and happier. I encourage all employers to support their workers to quit smoking and give them a new start whilst also saving money.”
So why not get started today! To find tips, tools and a local stop smoking service support, download the Smokefree app or talk to British Safety Council about how we can help. Together we can look forward to a better future and better mental health.”