21 Sep 2016

Leeds backs fifth Stoptober as smoking rates drop

Health Wellbeing

This year sees the fifth Stoptober campaign which will, as in previous years, encourage smokers up and down the country to take the 28 day challenge and not smoke for a month.

Previous Stoptobers have helped thousands of smokers quit smoking for good, gaining better health and wealth as a consequence. Last year, out of the 2.5 million smokers who made a quit attempt, 500,000 people (20%) were successful - the highest recorded success rate and up from just 13.6% six years ago.

Councillor Rebecca Charlwood, chair of Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board, said:

“The great news is that people who quit smoking for the 28 days are five times more likely to quit for good. It’s never been a better time to stop smoking, with a range of new initiatives aimed at encouraging people to quit for good. The introduction of standardised packs, smoking in cars being stopped and the smokefree play areas we introduced in Leeds in the last year are all reasons it is increasingly easier to quit than keep puffing.”

By signing up to Stoptober you can get a range of free support including packs, emails, texts and an app – all providing information, advice and daily tips to help you quit through the month. Evidence shows one of the best ways to quit smoking for good is to use the NHS’s stop smoking services. They provide free advice and support for smokers aiming to quit which has been shown to significantly improve the chance they will quit for good.

Former England cricketer and Question of Sport captain, Phil Tufnell, comments:

“I’m really pleased to be supporting Stoptober this year. I have smoked pretty steadily since I was a teenager, even through my cricket career. I have tried to give up before and know how tough it is, but I am going to try and quit again from 1 October.

“Even if you have tried quitting before like me and failed, just give it another go and keep trying. The more you try to quit the more likely you are to get there. Stoptober is here to help, so let’s try and get through to 28 days without a fag by taking it one day at a time.”

Leeds stop smoking service offers a range of sessions, with over 40 clinics across Leeds including groups and ones to ones. If you want to make an appointment with the service simply:

Phone: 0800 169 42196

Text: SMOKEFREE TO 60066

Email: Stopsmokingleeds@nhs.net

For more information, search ‘Stoptober’ online and choose the package of support that will help you quit for good, including details of your local stop smoking services.

Notes for editors

All Stoptober campaign video content and images can be downloaded by media at https://www.dropbox.com/sh/vbuup5n7imzwlra/AAAMb-v_5Vjbw3BNH9c64a2Pa?dl=0

Standardised packaging

New laws put into place earlier this year means all tobacco can only be sold in standardised plain packaging, removing all the fancy colours and design features tobacco companies have used to make tobacco more appealing, especially to children. The new packs are drab, olive green and have large graphic health warnings on the front and the back. Australia introduced much the same legislation in 2012 and has seen significant public health gains with more people quitting and less young people starting. The new standard packs have already started to hit the shelves, and this is expected to be a catalyst for many to make this year’s Stoptober the end of their smoking.


As the new tobacco packs arrive in local stores people are being encouraged to share an image and the location with a Tweet to @breathe2025 using the hashtag #trackthepack if they see the new packaging. The regional campaign Breathe2025 is inspiring a smokefree generation.

Issued by:

Phil Morcom

Communications and Marketing team

Leeds City Council

4th Floor West, Civic Hall, Leeds, LS1 1UR

Mobile: 0772 227 5370


For media enquiries contact:

Leeds City Council Communications team