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Thursday, 9 May, 2002, 13:48 GMT 14:48 UK
Rise in numbers quitting smoking
anti-smoking advertisement
Sales of aids to stop smoking are expected to continue rising
More people are trying to give up smoking with sales of products to help them quit nearing the 100m mark, a report suggests.

Levels of sales for Nicotine Replacement Therapy have risen massively and are expected to be 160% higher than in 1997.

Nicotine patches and chewing gum are among the top sellers by those desperate to kick the habit, says consumer market analyst Mintel.

People smoking
Men are more likely to smoke than women, the survey found

But despite the sales, Mintel's survey found people still think the best way to give up is good old fashioned will power.

In its survey Mintel quizzed 1,027 people and discovered one in three were smokers.

Patches and gum

Almost 40% of these said they were trying to cut down for health reasons and a similar number admitted they wished they had never started smoking.

Men were more likely to light up than women - the survey found 36% men and 29% of women smoked.

Women are also more likely to try to stop smoking, the survey found.

Smoking survey facts
One-third of adults smoke
29% used to smoke
39% had never smoked
40% want to give up for health reasons
15% giving up for financial reasons
Almost 25% of smokers cannot quit and have weight gain concerns
The Scottish have success with 24% giving up
Will power came top of the list of ways to quit
12% of those quizzed said they would try gum
11% said they had tried and failed to give up

The report states that sales of products to help smokers quit will reach 94.7m this year and are expected to be 125m by 2006.

Nicotine patches and chewing gum account for 85% of sales, but more people are also turning to tablets to help them ditch the habit.

Those planning to stop smoking has also risen - one in five smokers would like to give up according to the report.

Combined power

And it is the Scottish who seem to have the strongest desire to stub out their cigarettes.

Less than a quarter want to stop in south-west England, and Wales, whereas 42% would like to become non-smokers in Scotland.

But both smokers and new non-smokers are united in the belief that willpower is the strongest substance needed to stop.

Mintel's consumer goods consultant Elvira Doghem-Rashid said NRT was most effective when coupled with support from manufacturers and health authorities.

She said: "NRT is now viewed as an effective means of alleviating withdrawal symptoms, thereby addressing the biochemical problems."

Cessation programmes

The Department of Health published figures on Thursday showing that thousands of smokers are successfully quitting the habit with help of cessation services.

From April to December 2001, 153,000 people had set a quit date through smoking cessation services and at the four week follow-up around 79,100 had successfully quit.

The NHS Smoking Helpline - 0800 169 0169 - and NHS Smoking Centres in every health authority provide support for those wanting to quit.

See also:

05 May 02 | Health
Cancer patients 'keep on smoking'
08 Feb 00 | Health
'Treat nicotine as a hard drug'
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