Our guide to No Smoking Day

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No Smoking Day is very simple. It's all about helping people who want to stop smoking. With two out of every three smokers wanting to quit, No Smoking Day offers a darned good opportunity for smokers to give up smoking in the company of thousands of others. The campaign is UK wide and this year's event happened on Wednesday 8 March 2000.

On 8 March 2000 over a million people tried to quit smoking (including Dale Winton, a 40 a day man, let's hope he stays quit!) and over 80,000 people around the UK organised events.

The idea started in America as the "Great American Smokeout" which still happens in November each year.

Who is behind it?

No Smoking Day is a registered charity funded and run by an alliance of 15 organisations, including national health education agencies, professional bodies and charities - all with a commitment to reducing smoking related disease.

How it all works

This campaign aims to help smokers to stop smoking by raising awareness, increasing motivation, and by encouraging smokers to stop on a specific date, helped by a network of Local Organisers who run local events and activities in a supportive environment.

Fact sheet

There are 13 million adult smokers in the UK. 
At least two thirds of them want to stop.  
On No Smoking Day three times as many smokers call the national smokers' helplines (when compared with average days - even more than at New Year!).

What is achieved?

There are about eight million smokers in the UK who actually want to give up smoking and each year on this day over a million of them quit.
Research shows that every No Smoking Day an estimated 40,000 manage to quit successfully - over the years that's more than half a million people!
Over a million words are broadcast and printed about No Smoking Day each year (I hope they're adding this to the total!) - making people aware of the opportunity to quit and the chance to join the Day.
No Smoking Day 1999 showed that 35% of the UK's smokers did something about their smoking on No Smoking Day, with 6% stopping for the whole day or longer.
On No Smoking Day, as every day in the UK, 300 people died of a smoking related disease. 500 children took their first puff of a cigarette. The NHS spent over £4.5 million pounds treating smoking related disease.  Smoking kills about 5 times more people than all other avoidable deaths put together - including road accidents, fires, other accidents, suicide, murder, AIDS, alcohol and illicit drugs etc. Tobacco harms almost every living tissue it touches, on its way in, round and back out of the body. It is a uniquely harmful product that kills half of its consumers when used as the manufacturers intended...

source: No Smoking Day Campaign (with permission)


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Last modified: August 03, 2000