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Stoptober: why join in?

6 October, 2015

If you needed any more motivation to quit smoking, we’ve collated a few of the most shocking facts to get you into gear.

  • Smoking is the biggest cause of death and illness in the UK. More than 120,000 people die each year from diseases caused by smoking.
  • There are more than 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke and at least 43 of these chemicals can cause cancer.
  • On average, the life of a smoker can be as much as 16 years shorter than the life of someone who doesn’t smoke.
  • Only 3 in every 100 people manage to stop smoking permanently using will power alone.
  • Relapse most frequently occurs in the first few days of a quit attempt when withdrawal symptoms are the greatest.
  • 9 out of 10 smokers relapse in the afternoon or evening.


  • Research shows smokers are 67% more likely to quit if their partner also stops smoking, 36% more likely to quit if a friend stops and 34% more likely to quit if someone they work with quits.
  • Smoking is our biggest preventable killer: 80,000 people die a year in England because of smoking.
  • Stopping smoking is the single best thing a person can do for their health.


  • On average most people who quit save about £250 each month, which is nearly £3,000 a year.
  • More than 80% of secondhand smoke is invisible and odourless.
  • Secondhand smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals including arsenic, benzene and cyanide. More than 50 of the irrtants or toxins are known carcinogens and they’re the ones that can cause cancer.
  • People who breathe in secondhand smoke are at risk of the same diseases as smokers, including cancer and heart disease.
  • Breathing in secondhand smoke increases a child’s or an adult’s risk of lung cancer by 24% and heart disease by 25%.
  • Babies exposed to secondhand smoke are more at risk of cot death.


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