The Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Smoking and Tobacco Alliance is urging smokers in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire to quit during Stoptober 2023 – a national campaign designed to encourage and support smokers to quit for good.

The Alliance recently commissioned a new survey to open a conversation about why people smoke in the city and county, and how people feel about smoking in their communities.

The findings reveal that most people in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire who smoke do so every day, and more than three quarters (77%) say they smoke to cope with stress. This is despite the fact that smoking is known to actually increase anxiety and tension.

Two in three respondents said they’d like to cut down the amount they smoke and two in five wanted to quit altogether, but only 15% could very easily imagine themselves as an ex-smoker.

More than a third said they want to quit due to the cost of smoking. Worryingly, three in ten smokers in the county and four in ten in Nottingham City had made the decision to prioritise smoking over buying food.

The desire to improve health is the most common motivator for quit attempts, the study found, alongside a desire to avoid smoking-related illnesses.

The release of the findings comes as the Alliance relaunches its strategy to work towards eliminating smoking and tobacco-related harm and creating a smokefree generation for Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.

In Nottingham City, the percentage of adults who smoke is 21.2% – higher than the national average of 12.7%. In some parts of Nottingham over a third of adults are still smokers. In Nottinghamshire, adult smoking prevalence is 12.6%, similar to the England average, but there are significant differences within the County with some areas such as Mansfield (21.4%) having a similar proportion of smokers to Nottingham City.

The Alliance brings together partner organisations, including Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council, and was established earlier this year to encourage smokers to quit and to highlight the support needed to help prevent young people from starting to smoke in the first instance.

The Alliance welcomes the major announcements by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to end the harm from smoking – the biggest cause of preventable death and disease across the region.

Councillor Matt Barney, Nottinghamshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, said: “While smoking rates across the county have decreased in recent years, smoking is still the leading cause of death and ill health in Nottinghamshire. All partners in the alliance have a

clear, shared ambition to make the harms of smoking a thing of the past. “During Stoptober 2023, we’re reminding people that there is support out there to help them quit smoking. As our survey highlights, it can be hard to imagine quitting, but tobacco harms both your mental and physical health and traps people in a cycle of addiction. If you give quitting a go for 28 days, you’re more likely to keep going and stay smokefree for good.

Councillor Linda Woodings, Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Health at Nottingham City Council, said: “Stopping Smoking is not just a personal journey, it is a city wide commitment. Our aim is to help people to quit smoking for good through a range of methods that are tailored to each individual. “The Alliance stands together to create a healthier, smokefree future for ourselves and generations to come. It is committed to tackling the wider causes of tobacco-related inequalities, such as reducing exposure to second-hand smoke and access to illegal tobacco, which will protect our young people and continue to de-normalise tobacco in society.

“It’s hugely beneficial to have the findings of the insights report, as it gives us an improved insight of how tobacco is impacting our communities, and reinforces the importance of the alliance.”

Dr. Keith Girling, Medical Director at Nottingham University Hospitals said: “There are many highly significant health benefits from quitting smoking that bring not only a much enhanced quality of life but also impact on the likelihood of dying.

“We really want to support everyone who smokes to review their smoking and work towards stopping. Stoptober, the national campaign, provides an excellent opportunity to do that now.

“We recognise that it can be really hard to quit but there are a number of ways we can help people on that journey and we are very grateful to be part of the Alliance supporting this life-saving work.”

If you are one of the many people in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire who wants to quit smoking, there are local services ready to provide free stop smoking advice and support. Nottingham City residents can access support on quitting smoking through Stub it! at Nottinghamshire residents can access support on quitting smoking through Your Health Notts at