As many as 39% of British smokers are planning to give up smoking when it is banned in public places in England on 1st July 2007, according to research from Benenden Healthcare Society, a provider of affordable quality healthcare services.
This amounts to 3.8m smokers trying to give up, out of a national total of 11.7m addicts – a substantially higher figure than the 2.8m smokers the Government predicted would give up when it announced its intention to introduce a smoking ban, back in February 2006.
And it is predominantly younger male smokers who will stub out the smoking habit, Benenden research shows. Around 45 per cent of male smokers are planning to give up compared with 30 per cent of women.
A majority of 18 to 24-year-old smokers plan to quit compared with 37 per cent of 25 to 34-year-olds and only 27 per cent of 55 to 64-year-olds.
Regional differences are very marked, with two-thirds of smokers in the Yorkshire and Humberside region planning to give up, compared with just one-third in London and the North. Well over twice as many Yorkshire and Humberside smokers are giving up compared with those in the West Midlands or in Wales and the South West, the survey suggests.
Scotland’s smoking ban was enforced from March 2006. Wales and Northern Ireland’s ban is starting in April 2007, three months before England’s.
Jakki Stubbington of Benenden Healthcare says: “The smoking ban is clearly going to have a substantial effect on people’s smoking habits, and the results of our survey suggest that, over the medium to long term, it will make a major dent in the rates of cancer in the UK. Smokers are using the forthcoming ban as the perfect motivation to finally give up.”