A million people have stopped smoking since the COVID pandemic hit Britain*

New analysis by the charity Action on Smoking Health, in conjunction with University College London, has found that over a million people in the UK have stopped smoking since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country. A further 440,000 smokers tried to quit during this period [1].

In a new campaign to try and encourage more people to quit during the pandemic, Respiratory consultant, Dr Ruth Sharrock has made a strong plea for people to stop smoking in order to protect their health. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable illness, causing cancer, heart and lung disease, and smokers who are hospitalised with COVID-19 more likely to suffer severe outcomes than non-smokers.

Dr Ruth Sharrock says:

“Every day of my working life I see the terrible health problems caused by smoking. But I have also been inspired by those already suffering from smoking related diseases, who have still  managed quit and get health benefits from this. My message to smokers today is, please, do not wait. Whether you are healthy now or already unwell because of smoking, today is the day to stop. It can transform your life.”

Listen to the radio advert here.

While thousands have heeded advice to quit during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is great variation by age, with younger smokers quitting at a much greater rate than older smokers.  The new campaign calls on smokers of all ages to make a change, but particularly those older smokers who might be more at risk. Smoking related illnesses which have been linked to worse outcomes from COVID-19 include COPD, diabetes, stroke and other heart conditions.


Now is the time

If you have been inspired to make change and protect your health then get in touch with our service today. Our friendly and experienced team will guide you through the process and put you in touch with FREE, evidenced-based support to boost your chance of success.

Please call 0800 013 0553 or to refer yourself via the website please click here

Ruth Dean

10thAugust 2020



 *Adapted from an Action on Smoking Press Release 15/07/20

 [1] Action on Smoking Health, The survey was conducted between 15th April and 20th June 2020. It was an online survey using the YouGov panel with 10251 respondents. For more information on the YouGov Covid Tracker see: https://yougov.co.uk/covid-19. Additional analysis was undertaken by Action on Smoking and Health and University College London using ONS population data mid-year 2019 estimates.