UK Government

Department of Health: New Quit Kit helps smokers give up for good in 2010

Press Release   •   Dec 23, 2009 10:22 GMT

An innovative free Quit Kit which gives smokers the right tools to successfully stop smoking is launched today as new research shows that almost half of smokers (44%) in England have resolved to quit this New Year.

The NHS Stop Smoking Quit Kit, which has been designed by experts and smokers, contains calming audio downloads, a stress toy and a tool to help smokers work out how much money they are saving by quitting.

When asked what would help them to quit:

  • more than half (54%) of smokers wanted help to manage cravings;
  • one third of smokers wanted tools and advice to strengthen willpower;
  • nearly a third (32%) simply want something to do with their hands; and
  • nicotine gum and patches were the most popular aids to quitting, with 42% of smokers planning on using a Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) such as gum or patches this new year.

The new free Quit Kit contains tools that that have either been scientifically proven to help reduce cravings or have been developed in response to smokers’ needs.

Public Health Minister Gillian Merron said:

“Stopping smoking is hard - it takes a lot of effort and willpower. At any time around seven out of 10 smokers actually want to quit smoking.  NHS stop smoking services are rated as the best in the world, and smokers who quit by using free NHS support are up to four times more likely to be successful.

“The Government has worked with experts and smokers to create a tailored set of tools to help everyone who wants to quit. I hope the Quit Kit will help people stop smoking for good.”

The Quit Kit includes:

·        a “train to win” willpower assessor helping quitters to identify smoking triggers and providing tips on how to avoid them;
·        two MP3 downloads that are scientifically proven to reduce cravings;
·        a “tangle” – a new stress relieving distraction tool for the hands, to help manage cravings;
·        a toothbrush – to remind quitters of the benefits of fresher breath and so they can see the difference when they brush (smokers get a yellow residue on their toothbrush);
·        a health/wealth wheel to work out how much money quitters can save and the immediate health benefits of quitting smoking;
·        an A3 “Quit plan” wall chart so that quitters can mark their progress over 28 days and stay focused; and
·        details of smokers’ local NHS Stop Smoking Services, where they can access NRT and stop smoking medicines, and tailored support – either through one to one or group sessions.

The free Quit Kits are being launched by the Department of Health in a series of adverts that show smokers how the right tools for the job can help them stop smoking.

The Quit Kit adverts run alongside a powerful new advertising campaign also launched today, aimed at motivating smokers to quit by demonstrating how much their smoking affects their loved ones. It features children of smokers - not actors - from across the country singing the famous standard “I’d do anything” from the musical Oliver, illustrating they would do anything to help stop their parents smoking. This is supported by the fact that 96% of children whose parents smoke, want them to quit.

Professor Robert West from the Health Behaviour Research Centre at University College London said:

“One of the top New Year's resolutions each year is to stop smoking and the Quit Kit will help people do this. We know that certain triggers and cravings can threaten a successful quit and that people need to find their own personal combination of support and tools to help combat them.

“The best way to ensure success is by getting professional free support from the NHS.  I would say to anyone who is serious about quitting to call 0800 0665 826  to ask about the professional help available and then to use it. For thousands of smokers that call will help save their life.”

Latest figures show that 770,000 smokers tried to stop in Jan 2009 and data suggests that 5% are likely to last at least a year (38,500)***  The majority of successful quitters don’t stop on their first quit attempt.  Four in five smokers have tried and failed to quit in the past, although those who quit with NHS support will increase their chances of quitting successfully by up to four times.

In 2008/09 (April 2008 to March 2009), 337,054 people successfully quit smoking with NHS Stop Smoking Services.

Kevin Hood from London stopped smoking last January as one of his New Year’s resolutions using his local NHS Stop Smoking Service.

“After nearly a quarter of a century smoking I decided enough was enough and last Christmas I decided to make it my New Year’s resolution to kick the habit. I have now been smoke free for nearly a year.

“I decided to kick the habit once and for all as I couldn’t afford not to – it’s an expensive habit. I booked an appointment with my local NHS Stop Smoking advisor who helped me choose a Nicotine Replacement Therapy which suited me and I’ve never looked back. The support I received from my doctor was invaluable and I found that being able to chat with like-minded people in the same situation really helped. I’ve now been smokefree for nearly a year and I’ve never felt better!”

The NHS Smoking Helpline is on 0800 0 665 826  from 7am to 11pm, seven days a week. Trained advisers can tell callers about the range of free support available from the NHS to help you stop smoking.

The Quit Kit can be ordered by visiting the NHS website, www.nhs.uk/smokefree or by calling  0800 0 665 826

Notes to editors

For more information, a Quit Kit, or access to a case study who has successfully quit smoking, contact the DH press office on 020 72105221

1. An Mpeg video of the new “I’d do anything” and “Quit Kit” adverts, and the free mp3 of tips to manage cravings are available for download at: http://bit.ly/78t7RA

2. The free NHS Quit Kit can be ordered by visiting nhs.uk/smokefree or by calling 0800 0 665 826 

3. Survey Shop polled 1,000 smokers randomly selected from an online panel of adults in England, between 4 and 10 December.   Smokers were asked about their smoking habits and specifically their cravings.  Smokers were also asked to identify the benefits they most expected to see when they quit.  A regional breakdown of the statistics is available on request.

4. Evidence for facts in the release:
* The tobacco control scale: Ranking and comparison of tobacco control policy in 30 European countries (2005 - 2007) by Luke Joonsen and Martin Raw
**Ferguson J, Bauld L, Chesterman J, Judge K. The English smoking treatment services: one-year outcomes. Addiction 2008; 100 (Suppl. 2): 59–69 and West R, McNeill A, Raw M. Smoking cessation guidelines for health professionals: an update. Thorax 2000; 55(12): 987–99.
*** Smoking and smoking cessation in England:  Findings from the Smoking Toolkit Study

5. Why Christmas and New Year are key times for quitters
• New Year is the key quitting season for smokers, with almost half of all smokers (49%) resolving to stop smoking around this time
• Research shows smokers are up to four times more likely to stop smoking successfully if they get support from their local NHS Stop Smoking Service and Nicotine Replacement Therapy, compared with relying on willpower alone.

6. Telephone numbers for NHS Stop Smoking Support:
• NHS Smoking Helpline (0800 169 0 169)
• NHS Pregnancy Smoking Helpline (0800 169 9 169)
• NHS Asian Tobacco Helpline
• Urdu - 0800 169 0 881
• Punjabi - 0800 169 0 882
• Hindi - 0800 169 0 883
• Gujarati - 0800 169 0 884
• Bengali - 0800 169 0 885

7. The NHS Smokefree campaign suggests the following top ten tips to help smokers on their path to become smokefree: 
1. Order a Quit Kit from 0800 0 665 826  to help strengthen your resolve and reduce your cravings
2. Get support from trained NHS advisers who can help you to understand your addiction and how to beat it.
3. Identify your smoking triggers and plan ahead. Try the Addiction Test at www.nhs.uk/smokefree.
4. Use nicotine replacement products or other stop smoking medicines to cope with the withdrawal symptoms. These are available on prescription from the NHS.
5. Sign up for free text and email alerts from the Together Programme with motivational tips and advice to keep you on track.
6. Avoid situations where you might be tempted to smoke again. Plan ahead to cope with the hard times.
7. Note how much cash you’re saving. Work out how long it will take you to save for your dream purchase by using the calculator on www.nhs.uk/smokefree.
8. Use a carbon monoxide monitor to see for yourself how quickly your body recovers once you stop smoking. Local NHS Stop Smoking Services offer carbon monoxide monitoring as part of their stop smoking programmes.
9. Chuck out your ashtrays, matches and lighters and anything else you needed to smoke. Put potpourri where your ashtrays used to be – your home will smell fresher in no time at all.
10. But most importantly, take it one day at a time and reward yourself every day.

Contacts

NDS Enquiries
Phone: For enquiries please contact the above department
ndsenquiries@coi.gsi.gov.uk