No Smoking Day Campaign Marketing Manager
Wednesday 14 March is the 29th annual No Smoking Day and is one the biggest public health awareness campaigns of its kind.
Each year, up to one million smokers make a quit attempt on No Smoking Day. Not only is the campaign one of the most cost-effective smoking cessation campaigns (Kotzet al. Tobacco Control 2010) costing less than £100 per quality life year saved – it is one of the highlights of the public health calendar, with true partnership-working in the local community. Stop smoking services, local authorities, nurses, pharmacies, GP practices, opticians, schools, occupational health professionals and many others get involved in creating fun, inspiring events to encourage smokers to quit on the day.
Smoking rates have gone down from 40% in 1984 to 20% in 2010 but there are still 9.5 million smokers in the UK. So it is up to all of us in the public health arena to ask ‘do you smoke?’ because we know that two-thirds of smokers want to quit but find it really difficult. The job of public health professionals is to raise awareness and signpost effective methods of quitting and what better way than to remind the public of No Smoking Day.
Whether you work in environmental health, trading standards, the NHS, schools, colleges or a workplace, you will face a smoking issue at some point in your career. So leap on board with this year’s theme Take the Leap and inspire hundreds of thousands to quit on Wednesday.
So far, we’ve been spreading the word using 3D street art and encouraging MPs to support their constituents to quit. We will also be driving lots of local media coverage with events in local areas and putting out a story about the rise of shisha (waterpipe smoking) bars in the UK.
If you want to support smokers to quit, encourage them to contact their local NHS stop smoking service, join our facebook page, Twitter page or visit our dedicated smoking cessation website WeQuit.
Above all, don’t forget to ask ‘do you smoke?’ because you never know they might reply ‘yes but I really want to quit’.