Press release

Lung cancer rates rising amongst women, yet falling in men

Smokers urged to join the Stoptober challenge.

Stoptober campaign

Thousands of people across the country begin Stoptober today (Tuesday 1st October) – the mass 28-day stop smoking challenge – as the latest data shows that the incidence of lung cancer continues to increase amongst women, whilst dropping for men.

Over 8 million people in England smoke and it remains the nation’s biggest killer, with half of long-term smokers dying prematurely from a smoking-related disease. The research highlights an increasing focus on the impact that smoking is having on the health of women and young girls in the UK.

Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies said:

It is worrying to see the rising number of women living with and dying from lung cancer.

One in two long-term smokers die as a result of smoking, this is the single biggest cause of premature death taking more than 100,000 lives in the UK and costing the NHS up to £2.7bn each year.

Taking part in the challenge is a first step to a longer and healthier life so have a go, by stopping with Stoptober.

Kevin Fenton, Director of Health and Wellbeing for Public Health England, said:

We are seeing worrying levels of smoking among women which is clearly having an impact on their health and reported cases of lung cancer. Smoking is one of the main causes of lung cancer, and survival rates are very poor. Less than a third (30%) of people diagnosed with lung cancer will survive the first year, and only 8% will still be alive 5 years later.

That is why it is important that people give Stoptober a go. If smokers can stop for 28-days they are 5 times more likely to be able remain smokefree for good, and we would encourage all smokers to join the thousands of other taking part and help dramatically improve their long and short term health.

To mark the start of Stoptober, 28 individually designed ‘Stop’ disks are appearing across the country. Each Stoptober disk has been inspired by the motivations of different quitters and a number of celebrity supporters. Standing up to 3 meters high, the disks will be present throughout the 28-days of Stoptober and act as inspiration and motivation for people trying to stop smoking.

A whole team of celebrities including Melanie C, Iwan Thomas, Jenny Frost, Anthony Costa and many more are lending their support to people taking part in Stoptober, along with The Army and big name football clubs such as Everton and Newcastle United.

It isn’t too late to join in and receive a range of free support. This includes the 28-day Stoptober App and text support which provide daily updates and quitting advice, detailed tools and tips for coping, as well as the encouragement and support from thousands of people all quitting together.

For more information and to order your free resources search Stoptober online or visit www.smokefree.nhs.uk/stoptober and begin your own 28-day smokefree challenge.

Ends

Notes to editors

  1. Public Health England’s mission is to protect and improve the nation’s health and to address inequalities through working with national and local government, the NHS, industry and the voluntary and community sector. PHE is an operationally autonomous executive agency of the Department of Health.
  2. For more information on PHE visit www.gov.uk/phe or follow us on Twitter @PHE_uk.
  3. Stoptober is one of the marketing campaigns from NHS Smokefree. Other campaigns include ‘Smokefree Homes and Cars’ and ‘Mutations’. Please refer to the Smokefree Marketing Campaign Strategy for more information.
  4. Images and the TV adverts are available via the dropbox link from 30 September.
  5. Commentary from charitable partners also available.

Public Health England press office

Published 1 October 2013