Over 250,000 take part in Stoptober as smoking levels reach record low
PHE said "more people than ever" gave up smoking for 28 days during this year's Stoptober campaign at the same time as the office for national statistics announced lowest smoking rates ever in England
Over a quarter of a million people took part in the Stoptober campaign this year after smoking rates hit an all-time low in England.
"More people than ever" stopped smoking for 28 days during October in England and Wales as part of the national smoking cessation campaign, Public Health England (PHE) announced on Tuesday (October 28).
The news came shortly after the Office for National Statistics revealed that levels of smoking in England reached a record low in 2013. Last year, smokers made up just 18.4 per cent of the population - down from 19.5 per cent in 2012, it reported on October 6.
PHE said it hoped the Stoptober initiative would see the number of smokers drop further, as those who had taken part were five times more likely to give up the habit for good.
This year's campaign had a comedy theme, with the backing of comedians including Paddy McGuinness, Al Murray, Simon Brodkin (Lee Nelson) and Andi Osho, who offered "motivational messages of support", PHE said.
The initiative ended with a free online comedy gig by Lee Nelson on Tuesday night for all participants and their supporters.
National director of health and wellbeing at PHE Kevin Fenton said the success of anti-smoking initiatives such as Stoptober showed a smoke-free generation was now "within sight" as more people made the decision to quit.