Devon smokers urged to sign up to Stoptober

Posted on: 14 September 2015

Stoptober campaign calls on smokers to sign up together as research shows they are 67% more likely to quit if their partner also stops smoking and 36% more likely to quit if a friend stops

16.4%[1] of Devon residents are smokers

233.32 per 100,000 estimated deaths are attributable to smoking in Devon’s over 35’s

By signing up to Stoptober quitters will get humorous supportive messages from some of the nation’s top comedians – Bill Bailey, Al Murray, Shappi Khorsandi and Rhod Gilbert

Combining online support from comedians with a smoker’s ‘real world’ social groups designed to help increase their chances of getting through 28 days smokefree

With data showing that 16.4% of Devon residents are smokers, Public Health England is urging local residents and smokers from the area to sign up to Stoptober – the country’s 28 day mass quit attempt from Public Health England – to receive support and encouragement every step of the way from some of the nation’s top comedians.

And to stand an even better chance of quitting, Devon residents are encouraged to sign up with their friends, family and colleagues, as evidence reveals that this type of ‘social quitting’ can dramatically improve people’s chances of successfully stopping.

Research shows that smokers are two thirds (67%) more likely to quit when their spouse stops smoking, and a third more likely to quit when a close friend (36%) or someone they work with (34%) stops3[2]. The data also shows that individuals are much more likely (61%) to smoke if their partner or a close friend smokes – showing the powerful influence that people’s social networks have on their own smoking behaviour.

This is backed up by a study of smokers in Australia, Canada, the UK and the United States4[3] which shows that the fewer smoking friends someone has, the more likely they are to succeed in a quit attempt.


[1 & 2] Local Tobacco Control Profiles:

[3] Nicholas A. Christakis, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., and James H. Fowler, Ph.D: The Collective Dynamics of Smoking in a Large Social Network, N Engl J Med 2008; 358:2249-2258, May 22, 2008, DOI: 10.1056/NEJMsa0706154

[4] Hitchman, S. C., Fong, G. T., Zanna, M. P., Thrasher, J. F., & Laux, F. L. (2014, May 19). The Relation Between Number of Smoking Friends, and Quit Intentions, Attempts, and Success: Findings From the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Four Country Survey. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors. Advance online publication.

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