No Smoking Day 2024

12 March 2024

The 40th anniversary of No Smoking Day, a time for us to unite and offer encouragement and support to those on their quitting journey, is swiftly approaching on 13 March. There are over 5.3 million adults in England who still smoke, and smoking remains the single largest preventable cause of death in England. In fact, up to two in three smokers will die as a result of long-term smoking.

You can quit smoking this No Smoking Day. Visit our NHS Quit Smoking page for more information.  

Read Debbie's story on her journey to be smoke-free. 

Mum of five, Debbie, from Chadderton, had quit smoking for seven years when the strain of nursing her father who died from cancer took its toll and she re-lapsed. Several years later she was hospitalised with COPD and knew that she had to quit for good. Despite dealing with the death of a close friend, she has been quit for more than a year and her health is much better.

“I’m not going to lie, there are times when it’s so hard. A close friend recently died of a heart attack and I was holding his hand as he passed. All I wanted to do when I left the hospital was buy a packet of cigarettes …but I didn’t and I’m so proud of myself for that.

“I was frightened of giving up smoking for years as I didn’t want to let everyone down but now I’ve found my inner strength I know I can do it.”

Deborah who is 61 and a retired primary school teacher had smoked since the age of 15. All of her family smoked and she has lost both friends and family to smoking related diseases.

“Smoking has taken a lot of people from me and I don’t want to end up like that. Every time I lose someone my resolve to stay smokefree deepens.

“The best thing about quitting is knowing that my family and grandchildren will get more of me and I’ll get more of them – I want to be here to see my youngest daughter have children.”

Deborah used lozenges and nicotine patches to help her quit and a year on her smokers cough has gone and her COPD is much better.

“When I smoked, I’d always get chest infections and it would take me weeks to get over them. Now I rarely get them and can recover a lot quicker. I’ve also got the energy to potter in my garden and decorate my house.”

She’s also inspired her forty year old son, O’Z to quit.

“He came to see me when I was in hospital and showed me a vape. He said after seeing me so ill with COPD he wanted to quit and the vape has really helped him. He’s been quit for a year and just got a clean bill of health from the doctors which makes me so happy.

“I’d encourage anyone to keep trying to quit. Focus on what you’ll gain – more time with your loved ones is priceless – once you decide to quit for them you can do anything.”

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