It’s not too late – Stop Smoking London urges smokers to get expert local support to quit


Smokers looking to quit in Stoptober are being urged to boost their chances by getting support close to home.

Combining expert support from local stop smoking services with stop smoking aids makes someone three times as likely to stop smoking successfully. Stop Smoking London (SSL) is encouraging those who have already signed up to the mass quit attempt to contact a service near them.

The London wide public health programme is also urging those thinking about joining Stoptober that it’s never too late.

Dr Somen Banerjee, Co-Chair and Smoking Cessation Lead of the London Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH), said: “We know that more than half of smokers want to quit. In London, a third have tried at least one quit attempt in the past year. The main reason cited for this is concern about future health problems[i]. Local stop smoking services offer the best chance of success and Stop Smoking London’s helpline is the easiest place to start in terms of accessing this.”

Latest published prevalence data shows there are almost 900,000 smokers in London, approximately 12.9 per cent of the city’s population. Smoking is still the leading cause of preventable illness and premature death in the UK.

Irem Patel, Respiratory Consultant at King’s Health Partners and Joint Clinical Director for the London Respiratory Clinical Network: “Too many Londoners still come to harm because of smoking. COVID-19 has made us all more aware of our own health risks and steps we can take to reduce these. Stopping smoking is the most important step you can take to improve your overall health and well-being, especially your and your family’s risk of respiratory problems. I urge more Londoners to take up the offer of free NHS stop smoking support and treatment. The best time to quit is now.”

Ex-smoker and Stop Smoking Service Advisor, Debbie Purkis said: “The best thing a smoker can do for their current and future health is to quit. You are three times as likely to quit successfully with the support of your local stop smoking service than if you go it alone. One of the main things I hear from people is: I wish I had stopped years ago. Even if you have tried before, my advice is to give it another go with the support of your local stop smoking service.”

It’s half-way through the nation’s largest mass quit attempt, Stoptober, now in its 10th year. Despite falling smoking rates nationally – 1 in 7 Londoners still smoke. More than half of smokers want to quit, and data from the past decade reveals more than 1 in 3 London smokers has tried.

To date, more than 2.3 million people across the UK have made a quit attempt with the Stoptober campaign since it launched a decade ago in 2012.

Data from the UCL Smoking Toolkit Study, a series of monthly, national, household surveys of the adult population of England reveals that in the past decade, an average of 44.8% of smokers made at least 1 serious quit attempt, using at least one of the following: face to face behavioural support, prescription medication, nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) over the counter, or e-cigarettes to support this.

Smokers who want to find out more about the support available are urged to visit the Stop Smoking London website at Here you can also search for your local stop smoking service which provides free, personalised, one-to-one support to help you quit.

Alternatively, you can start a web chat or call the helpline on 0300 123 1044. Both services are available 9am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 11am to 4pm at weekends.