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21 September 2016 07:58
Smoking rates have fallen further in England
Smoking rates have dropped to the lowest level on record in England, new figures show, suggesting messages about the health effects of cigarettes are hitting home.
Just 16.9% of people in the country now smoke, according to Public Health England, which is the lowest reading since records were first collated.
The figure was published as the group gears up to launch its annual Stoptober campaign next month. This scheme encourages people to give up cigarettes during the month of October.
Public Health England has suggested that those who kick the habit for 28 days are five times likelier to give smoking up full-time.
Smoking can have a number of negative effects on people's health and well-being, with lung cancer one of the major risks which it poses.
Those with lung cancer who are planning holidays abroad may need to consider specialist medical travel insurance before venturing overseas.
A range of celebrities have offered their support to the latest edition of the Stoptober campaign, with Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood, former cricketer Phil Tufnell and singer Natasha Hamilton among them.
The campaign will have an online focus this time round, with Facebook set to be a key source of advertising. Public Health England boss Duncan Selbie recently revealed that the social media site is used by close to three quarters of smokers.
A Stoptober app and new Facebook Messenger tool are among the online services designed to help smokers kick their habit.
According to the organisation, England now has twice as many former smokers as current smokers, with the respective figures 14.6 million people and 7.2 million people.
Some 20% of the 2.5 million smokers who attempted to quit last year managed to do so.
Professor Kevin Fenton, national director of health and well-being at Public Health England, said smoking remains the largest cause of preventable early death in England.
He added: "Quitters will soon see they have reduced blood pressure, easier breathing and better circulation. Stopping smoking is the best thing a smoker can do to improve their health."
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