Wednesday 13th March 2024

National No Smoking Day, which has occurred annually since its integration with Ash Wednesday in 19841, has served as an annual reminder for individuals striving to quit smoking. In the United Kingdom, No Smoking Day holds significance with campaigns aimed at raising awareness about the health risks associated with smoking and encouraging smokers to quit. The goals of No Smoking Day include promoting smokefree environments, supporting smoking cessation services, and advocating for stricter tobacco control measures to protect public health. This article aims to explore the current challenges faced by those seeking to quit smoking in the UK and educate future generations about the evolving laws surrounding tobacco control policies and the sale and purchase of tobacco products.

In 2019, the UK government released a green paper, announcing that the 2020s will be the decade of proactive, predictive, and personalised prevention2, setting an objective for England to be
‘Smokefree’ by 2030 by reducing adult smoking to 5% or less3, and increasing the legal age to smoke for those born after 2008. Additionally, as of January 2024, the government has announced that by the end of 2025, disposable vapes will be banned to protect children’s health, due to how easily accessible they are. The government also plans to introduce plain packaging and restrict flavours as most vapes come in sweet flavours. 

With these new massive law-enforced restrictions that will soon be introduced in England, there are still challenges that we face with smoking  cessation including cultural, educational, social, and future challenges.

Current and Future Challenges

Cultural Challenges: 

In England, smoking rates among ethnic minorities are lower rates than Caucasian groups, but the rates within ethnic groups are often gendered with men generally higher than women4. In 2019 smoking habits had a large difference in sex in Asian (13.9% in men and 2.9% in women), Chinese (12.6% in men and 4.0% in women), and black (12.9% in men and 6.9% in women) groups5. Other forms of tobacco are more common in some ethnic groups, shisha (waterpipe) use in 2012-2013 was estimated to be frequently used by about 1% of the British population, with higher rates  in Asian (7%), mixed (5%), and Black (4%) groups6. The smoking cessation process can pose difficulty when people have recently immigrated to the UK from countries that had higher smoking rates where there are different legal and cultural frameworks taken to tobacco use4.

Educational Challenges:

To help with smoking cessation in the UK, healthcare professionals should be able to advise smokers on how to quit smoking; a short survey conducted by Hunter et al. (2019) aimed to identify the extent of smoking cessation teaching and examination in 21 UK pharmacy schools. The survey concluded that there was a lack of training on the management of pregnant smokers and mental health patients who smoke. It was documented that 11 (52%) schools taught about the management of pregnant smokers and 3 (14%) schools taught about the management of mental health patients  who smoke. Smoking during pregnancy is the most preventable cause of adverse pregnancy health outcomes, with half of the pharmacy schools teaching about this. There was also little attention given to mental health patients who smoke, pharmacists need to provide support to vulnerable populations7.

The limited education provided to pharmacists regarding the management of pregnant smokers and mental health patients who smoke may result in a lack of accessibility to smoking cessation support for future patients. The lack of understanding regarding the harms of smoking could lead to significant repercussions.

Social Challenges:

Smoking used to be considered as a social activity, however a 12-year follow-up study by Phillip et al. (2022) found that smokers were more likely to be lonely and socially isolated compared to non-smokers. With a sample size of over 8000, with a mean age of 67 years old, this observational study found that smokers were more likely to be lonely and socially isolated than non-smokers, having less frequent social interactions with friends and family, less frequent engagement with the community and cultural activities, and being more likely to live alone8.

The idea of smoking being a social activity may be a misconception, with insufficient social support can be a challenge when trying to quit smoking, as individuals not surrounded by friends and family may not find the motivation to stay smoke-free.

Future Challenges: 

As the next generation will not legally be able to buy tobacco products, this could create a gap in education and awareness. Without ongoing efforts to educate young people about the dangers of smoking and the benefits of being smoke-free, they may not fully understand the harm it can cause. While the accessibility to tobacco products is already restricted in shops, minors could still be exposed to environments where smoking is normalised, such as having a parent who legally smokes. Without continued education, the future generation might not understand why they legally cannot smoke. With tobacco prices already high and set to rise more to deter smokers, those who still wish to smoke tobacco or sell tobacco products without paying taxes can turn to the illegal importation of tobacco which is sold at cheaper rates on the black market. As of 2020-2021, it is estimated that 16% of cigarettes purchased in the UK were from the black market9. The number of children using vapes has tripled in the last three years with 69% of current vapers aged 11 to 17 years old10. With the upcoming ban on tobacco products and the upcoming ban on disposable vapes, there is still access to non-disposable and refillable vape kits being sold, as well as the existing black market of disposable vapes in corner shops that are illegally imported11

Those born after 2008 may encounter different challenges related to smoking compared to the previous generations so there needs to be continual regulations, education, and support to advance to smokefree UK.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) testing: 

Bedfont® Scientific Ltd. manufactures the Smokerlyzer® range, non-invasive breath testing devices measuring carbon monoxide (CO) to help people stop smoking, one breath at a time. The Smokerlyzer® range consists of the Micro+™, piCObaby™, piCO™, and the homecare CO device the iCOquit®. All devices provide instant results with a traffic light system making CO levels identifiable to patients, whilst acting as a motivational tool to help them quit smoking. In addition to behavioural support and nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), CO devices have been integrated into stop-smoking programmes for years, used as a bio-verification tool that can identify CO on the breath (produced by incomplete combustion burning of tobacco products) and therefore confirm abstinence from traditional tobacco smoking, in addition to being used as a motivational tool for smokers.

To find out more about how you can support families with smoking cessation, visit https://www.bedfont.com/smokerlyzer

References:

1. National No Smoking Day [Internet]. UK Parliament. 2023. [Cited Friday 23rd February 2024]. Available from: https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cdp-2023-0056/#:~:text=National%20no%20smoking%20day%20has,supported%20by%20Alzheimer’s%20Research%20UK

2. Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s- consultation document [Internet]. GOV.UK. 2019. [Cited Wednesday 31st January 2024]. Available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/advancing-our-health-prevention-in-the- 2020s/advancing-our-health-prevention-in-the-2020s-consultation-document

3. The Smokefree 2030 ambition for England [Internet]. House of Commons Library. 2023. [Cited Wednesday 31st January 2024]. Available from: https://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/CBP-9655/CBP-9655.pdf

4. Tobacco and Ethnic Minorities [Internet]. ASH. 2019. [Cited Friday 2nd February 2024]. Available from: https://ash.org.uk/uploads/ASH-Factsheet_Ethnic-Minorities-Final-Final.pdf?

5. Adult smoking habits in the UK: 2019 [Internet]. Office for National Statistics. 2020. [Cited Friday 2nd February 2024]. Available from: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/healthandlifeexpectancies…

6. Akl EA, Gunukula SK, Aleem S, Obeid R, Jaoude PA, Honeine R, Irani J. The prevalence of waterpipe tobacco smoking among the general and specific populations: a systematic review.
BMC public health. 2011 Dec;11(1):1-2. PMID: 21504559 PMCID: PMC3100253 DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-11-244.

7. Hunter A, Bobak A, Anderson C. A survey of smoking cessation training within UK pharmacy education. Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning. 2019 Jul 1;11(7):696-701. PMID:
31227092 DOI: 10.1016/j.cptl.2019.03.007.

8. Philip KE, Bu F, Polkey MI, Brown J, Steptoe A, Hopkinson NS, and Fancourt D. Relationship of smoking with current and future social isolation and loneliness: 12-year follow-up of older
adults in England. The Lancet Regional Health–Europe. 2022 Mar 1;14. DOI:10.1016/j.lanepe.2021.100302.

9. Outputs for April 2021 to March 2022 [Internet]. GOV.UK. [Cited Tuesday 13th February 2024]. Available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/annual-outputs-for-tacking-tobacco-smuggling/outputs-for-april-2021-to-march-2022#:~:text=The%20government%20has%20had%20a,cigarettes%20and%20hand%2Drolling%20tobacco.

10. Department of health and social care media centre [Internet]. GOV.UK. 2024. [Cited Friday 2nd February 2024]. Available from: https://healthmedia.blog.gov.uk/2024/01/30/creating-a-smokefree-generation-and-tackling-youth-vaping-what-you-need-to-know/

11. The UK disposable vape ban: Impacts and alternatives [Internet] Vape Superstore. 2024. [Cited Friday 2nd February 2024]. Available from: https://www.vapesuperstore.co.uk/blogs/news/are-disposable-vapes-being-banned-in-the-uk

Currently, in the UK, it is against the law to sell tobacco products to individuals under the age of 18. In October 2023, the English government introduced a ground-breaking proposal to raise the legal age by one year, each year. The ultimate goal is to make the sale and purchase of cigarettes illegal, gradually phasing out smoking in the country. New Zealand led this initiative in 2021 by annually increasing the legal smoking age for anyone born after 2008. This change made tobacco products less affordable and less accessible for those still permitted to smoke in New Zealand1.

Current statistics

Smoking-related deaths are the UK’s biggest preventable killer, causing 1 in 4 cancer deaths and 64,000 deaths per year in England2. The government’s proposed plan aims to alleviate the pressure, on an already over-burdened National Health Service (NHS), given that nearly one hospital admission per minute is linked to smoking, along with up to 75,000 monthly GP appointments for smoking-related illnesses2.

In 2022, data revealed that across all age groups from 18 to 65+, men were consistently more likely to smoke than women. Notably, individuals aged 25 to 34 had the highest smoking rate, with 19.1% for men and 13.4% for women3. Yet for those who vape daily, the largest group was those aged 16 to 24, constituting 15.4% of daily vapers across the age range from 16 to 60+. This marked a 3.7% increase from 2021 (11.7%)4.

The government’s plan

According to recent statistics, smoking and vaping are predominantly adopted by younger generations and the government’s plans to prevent the next generation from smoking will benefit England ultimately. This would involve removing additional strain, money, and time on the NHS with appointments and hospital admissions caused by smoking, as well as discouraging young people from taking up vaping with future policies in place for flavours and packaging. Additionally, the government’s efforts to restrict disposable vapes aim to mitigate the environmental impact of these products ending up in landfills.

As well as the plans to increase the legal age to smoke, the government has also pledged to fund numerous initiatives aimed at supporting smoking cessation aid. This involves an additional £70 million annually allocated to local stop-smoking services, and a further £45 million spread over two years to introduce the national ‘Swap to Stop’ project. This project aims to provide individuals who are attempting to quit smoking with a free vape kit and behavioural support as another incentive to help England reach the ‘smokefree’ target by reducing adult smoking to 5% or less by 20305. The government is set to intensify its measures on vaping products, introducing additional regulations on flavours and packaging to reduce appeal among children. Although vaping is intended as a resource to help adults quit smoking, the statistics for youth vapers have tripled in the past three years with 20.5% of children aged 11 to 17 years old having tried vaping at least once in 2023, reported by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH). This trend is not unique to the UK, as similar patterns are observed globally, including in Canada and New Zealand6. There are also plans to limit the availability of disposable vapes in the market, aiming to reduce environmental harm by minimising the disposal of these products in landfills. New research has revealed in the UK that 78% of the 138 million disposable vapes sold every year in the UK are being disposed of incorrectly, which means more than two million single-use vapes are thrown away in general waste every week, instead of being recycled correctly7.

Carbon monoxide devices

Bedfont® Scientific Ltd. manufactures the Smokerlyzer® range, measuring carbon monoxide (CO) which consists of the Micro+™, piCObaby™, piCO™, and the homecare CO device the iCOquit®. All the devices measure CO on the breath with instant results to help motivate patients and there are many resources that can help individuals quit smoking. In addition to behavioural support and nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), CO devices have been integrated into stop-smoking programmes for years, used as a bio-verification tool that can identify CO on the breath (produced by incomplete combustion burning of tobacco products) and therefore confirm abstinence from traditional tobacco smoking, in addition to being used as a motivational tool for smokers.

To find out more about how you can support patients with smoking cessation, visit https://www.bedfont.com/smokerlyzer

Read the full research briefing on the government’s smokefree 2030 ambition for England:

https://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/CBP-9655/CBP-9655-The-Smokefree-2030-ambition-for-England-Oct-2023.pdf

References:

  1. New Zealand to ban cigarettes for future generations [Internet] BBC News. 2021. [Cited Tuesday 17th October 2023]. Available from: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-59589775
  2. Prime Minister to create ‘smokefree generation’ by ending cigarette sales to those born on or after 1 January 2009 [Internet]. GOV.UK. 2023. [Cited Tuesday 17th October 2023]. Available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/prime-minister-to-create-smokefree-generation-by-ending-cigarette-sales-to-those-born-on-or-after-1-january-2009
  3. Adult smoking habits in England [Internet]. Office for National Statistics. 2023. [Cited Friday 20th October 2023]. Available from: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/healthandlifeexpectancies/datasets/adultsmokinghabitsinengland
  4. E-cigarette use in England [Internet]. Office for National Statistics. 2023. [Cited Friday 20th October 2023]. Available from: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/healthandlifeexpectancies/datasets/ecigaretteuseinengland
  5. The Smokefree 2030 ambition for England [Internet]. House of Commons Library. 2023. [Cited Friday 20th October 2023]. Available from: https://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/CBP-9655/CBP-9655-The-Smokefree-2030-ambition-for-England-Oct-2023.pdf
  6. Creating a smokefree generation and tackling youth vaping: what you need to know [Internet] GOV.UK. 2023. [Cited Friday 20th October 2023]. Available from: https://healthmedia.blog.gov.uk/2023/10/12/creating-a-smokefree-generation-and-tackling-youth-vaping-what-you-need-to-know/
  7. Single use vapes spark surge in blazes as three dumped every second [Internet]. Zurich. 2023. [Cited Friday 20th October 2023]. Available from: https://www.zurich.co.uk/news-and-insight/single-use-vapes-spark-surge-in-blazes-as-three-dumped-every-second#:~:text=Research%20released%20today%20by%20public,thrown%20away%20improperly%20every%20week.

In the UK, the National Health Service (NHS) revealed a promising trend in smoking rates among pregnant women during the 2021-2022 period. At the time of birth, the smoking rate hit a historic low of 9.1%, marking a notable drop from the 2019 rate of 10.6%1.

In Somerset, a smoking cessation pregnancy programme called Mums2Be Smokefree had to replace all in-person appointments with telephone support in 2020 due to COVID-19. In 2021, face-to-face appointments were reinstated but the number of sessions had been reduced. This led to the creation of a 12-month pilot study spanning from April 2021 to April 2022, which included the iCOquit® Smokerlyzer®, a personal Bluetooth® carbon monoxide (CO) device manufactured by Bedfont® Scientific Ltd. There were 58 participants, aged 18 to 30 years old, enrolled in the pilot study and each person was issued an iCOquit® device through Mums2Be Smokefree. They were given the device either at 4 weeks (34%) or 12 weeks (66%) into their pregnancy, followed by a semi-structured survey to evaluate the effectiveness of the iCOquit® device from the patient’s perspective.

Study’s finding for iCOquit® and CO testing

Face-to-face CO readings were conducted to validate quit rates, and no discrepancies were reported. At 4 weeks, an impressive 96.55% of participants had successfully quit smoking, and at 12 weeks into the smoking programme, 94.83% of patients had quit smoking.

The implementation of the iCOquit® device not only tracked quit attempts but also significantly minimised the loss of follow-up appointments, with 1.72% at the 12-week mark. The voucher incentive plan for those who quit smoking increased by 828.95% (from 38 to 353 vouchers) from 2020 to 2021. The pilot study resulted in a 26.79% increase in attendance to first appointments with the Mums2Be Smokefree programme. With specific spikes of 15.35% at 4 weeks, and 3.47% at 12 weeks.

Study’s impact on CO testing

The outcomes of the study highlighted the impactful role of iCOquit® in equipping patients with the skills to quit smoking and maintain their journey throughout their pregnancy and post-partum when they were unavailable to meet face-to-face with their smoking practitioner.

Of the participants, half engaged in a brief survey focused on iCOquit®. When asked, “How helpful do you feel the iCOquit® has been to support you not smoking”, respondents expressed a high level of satisfaction, with 55.2% finding iCOquit® very helpful and 41.4% considering it somewhat helpful. When asked, “In what (if any way) did you find the iCOquit® useful to support you not smoking”, 51.72% found the visual results on the phone were supportive of their quit, 31% found the motivation to quit helped them most, 13.8% found the ease of monitoring efficiency at home most helpful, and 3.45% answered goal setting.

The consensus between participants and smoking practitioners on the value of iCOquit® is clear. Providing instant results accessible from anywhere, iCOquit® has not only empowered participants but also streamlined face-to-face appointments with smoking practitioners. The successful integration of iCOquit® into the practices of Mums2Be Smokefree further underscores its significance in enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of smoking cessation support.

“The combination of the ICOquit® and an advisor (Stop Smoking Practitioner) is what helped me to quit”

(Service user, 2022)

With an easy-to-use, handheld, home CO device, Bedfont® can help users become smoke-free with instant results shown by a motivational traffic light system. The iCOquit® also offers the ability to take a reading anytime, anywhere, allowing a practitioner to offer remote motivation and sustained support. To find out more about how you can support patients with smoking cessation, visit https://www.icoquit.com/

Read the full Evaluation Report here:

https://fabnhsstuff.net/storage/iCO-Monitor-Evaluation-Report-FINAL-12082022-643fa275e1b5d.pdf

References:

  1. NHS helps thousands of pregnant smokers kick the habit [Internet] NHS England. 2022. [Cited Monday 9th September 2023]. Available from: https://www.england.nhs.uk/2022/07/nhs-helps-thousands-of-pregnant-smokers-kick-the-habit/

World No Tobacco Day is an annual awareness day that informs the public about the dangers of using tobacco1. This year’s campaign, ‘Grow food, not tobacco’, encourages the government to end tobacco growing subsidies and use the savings to support farmers to switch to more sustainable crops that improve food security and nutrition1.

Worldwide, approximately 5.89 million metric tonnes of tobacco is produced every year2, contributing to an estimated 1.1 billion active tobacco smokers worldwide3. Bedfont‘s Smokerlyzer® range has been an integral part of the post-smoking process for over 35 years. By providing users with instant Carbon Monoxide (CO) readings and a motivational traffic light system to guide them towards their quit goals, we have helped countless individuals towards their stop smoking goals and improve their overall health and well-being.

It is reported that globally in 2020, tobacco use consisted within the everyday lives of 36.7% of men and 7.8% of the world’s women4. Within the UK, data recorded that in 2020 the proportion of current smokers was 14%, fast-forward to 2021 and that statistic has seen a significant decrease, equating to 13.3%, which corresponds to an estimated 6.6 million people in the UK who are classified as current smokers5.

A study regarding the use of a CO device to quit smoking gathered 10 smokers, who of which received a CO device and were asked to use it regularly throughout the day for 6 weeks with the aim of maintaining their CO reading below 10ppm. At the 6-week follow-up, all participant’s CO concentrations were below their baseline value; two were below 10ppm. The average daily cigarette consumption reduced from 14.1 at baseline to 9.8 during the 2 weeks of daily CO monitoring, and then 9.5 at the 6-week follow-up. Concluding that the use of the CO device was generally found to be acceptable and to increase motivation to stop smoking completely, as five smokers out of the ten attempted to quit smoking6.

The Smokerlyzer® range by Bedfont® consists of 4 handheld breath analysis devices, Micro+™, piCObaby™, piCO, and iCOquit® – each of which tests the level of CO on a smoker’s breath, which can help them understand the harmful effects that smoking has on their body. When a person smokes, they inhale carbon monoxide, which is a poisonous gas that can lead to serious health problems. The on-screen instant results for each device, coupled with the interpretation guide provided, help patients quickly identify which traffic light system bracket they fall into. This enables them to take proactive steps towards quitting smoking and improving their health.

Visit https://www.bedfont.com/smokerlyzer to learn more about how you can aid patients to stop smoking, one breath at a time, with Bedfont® Scientific Ltd’s Smokerlyzer® range.

References:

  1. World No Tobacco Day [Internet]. World Health Organization. World Health Organization; [cited 2023Apr28]. Available from: https://www.who.int/campaigns/world-no-tobacco-day
  2. Shahbandeh M. Global tobacco production 2021 [Internet]. 2023 [cited 2023 May 15]. Available from: https://www.statista.com/statistics/261189/global-tobacco-production-since-1980/
  3. The global burden of tobacco – the Lancet [Internet]. [cited 2023 May 15]. Available from: https://www.thelancet.com/infographics-do/tobacco
  4. Tobacco [Internet]. World Health Organisation. 2022. [Cited 2nd May 2023]. Available from: https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/tobacco
  5. Adult smoking habits in the UK: 2021. [Internet]. Office for National Statistics. 2022. [Cited 2nd May 2023]. Available from: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/drugusealcoholandsmoking/bulletins/smokingprevalenceintheukandtheimpactofdatacollectionchanges/2020
  6. Beard E, and West R. Pilot study of the use of personal carbon monoxide monitoring to achieve radical smoking reduction. Journal of Smoking Cessation. 2012;7(1):12-17. DOI: 10.1017/jsc.2012.1.

National No Smoking Day is an annual awareness day that serves as a campaign for greater awareness about the health dangers associated with smoking1. Bedfont® Scientific Ltd. has been helping people stop smoking for over 35 years with their Smokerlyzer® product range, which gives users instant Carbon Monoxide (CO) readings using a motivational traffic light system to guide them towards their quit goal.

Reports from NHS Stop Smoking Services in England between April 2021 and March 2022 have shown that of 178,198 adults setting a quit date, 54.8% were successful (97,654). And of those successfully quitting, 6.8% (6,640) had their results confirmed with a CO verification2. It’s never too late for patients to benefit from stopping smoking, as being a non-smoker or at least reducing the use of cigarettes, can improve the chances of being more physically active and healthier as we get older3.

Out of the over 8 million global deaths related to tobacco each year, over 7 million of those deaths are from direct tobacco use, while 1.2 million are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke4. Establishing a patient’s smoking status is a great way in providing them with helpful analysis and guidance throughout their stop smoking journey.

Studies have shown the attitudes that smokers have towards quitting smoking when using a handheld CO monitoring device. One study noted that out of 15.5% of people that were planning on quitting in the next 30 days, 75.3% reported the CO device increased their motivation, with 73.1% reported that seeing their CO levels made them want to quit smoking. Furthermore, after 12 weeks, the number of cigarettes smoked per day decreased by 41.4%5.

The Smokerlyzer® range by Bedfont® consists of 4 handheld breath analysis monitors, Micro+, piCObaby™, piCO, and iCOquit® – each of which tests the level of CO in a smoker’s blood. High levels of CO in the blood can lead to smoking related diseases such as heart disease, circulation problems and high blood pressure. The onscreen instant results for each monitor, coinciding with the interpretation guide provided, makes understanding results easy and convenient when acknowledging which traffic light system bracket a patient falls underneath.

Visit https://www.bedfont.com/smokerlyzer to learn more about how you can aid patients to stop smoking, one breath at a time, with the Smokerlyzer® range.

References:

  1. Twinkl.co.uk. [cited 2023Feb2]. Available from: https://www.twinkl.co.uk/event/no-smoking-day-2023
  2. Statistics on NHS Stop Smoking Services in England- April 2021 to March 2022 [Internet]. NHS. 2022. [Cited 20th February 2023]. Available from: https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/statistics-on-nhs-stop-smoking-services-in-england/april-2021-to-march-2022
  3. Smoking [Internet]. BHF. [cited 2023Feb2]. Available from: https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/risk-factors/smoking
  4. Tobacco [Internet]. World Health Organisation. 2022. [Cited 10th February 2023]. Available from: https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/tobacco
  5. Marler JD, Fujii CA, Wong KS, Galanko JA, Balbierz DJ, and Utley DS. Assessment of a personal interactive carbon monoxide breath sensor in people who smoke cigarettes: single-arm cohort study. Journal of Medical Internet Research. 2020;22(10):1-24. DOI: 10.2196/22811.

Stoptober is an annual initiative that encourages smokers to refrain from smoking for 28 days in October to serve as a stepping stone to permanently quitting.1 Bedfont® Scientific Ltd has been helping people stop smoking for over 35 years with their Smokerlyzer® range, which gives users instant Carbon Monoxide (CO) readings using a motivational traffic light system to guide them towards their quit goal.

Statistics from the NHS show that in 2020, 506,100 hospital admissions were attributable to smoking2, which is 10% higher than 2009/10. However, thanks to stop smoking efforts and tools such as the Smokerlyzer®, in just over 10 years, UK deaths attributable to smoking have decreased by 9%2, although a figure of 74,600 deaths2 is still very alarming.

By analysing a breath sample, the Smokerlyzer® can tell how much CO is in your lungs and blood that has been inhaled from smoking. Smoking builds high levels of CO in the blood, which can lead to heart disease, circulation problems, and high blood pressure. The Smokerlyzer® is a useful tool for Stop Smoking Services to establish a smoker’s status, whilst acting as a motivational visual aid to encourage patients to quit smoking and to measure their progress whilst doing so, helping individuals kick their tobacco habit, preventing cancers and other smoking related diseases attributed to smoking tobacco.

An assessment of cigarette smokers using a CO monitor by Marler et al. (2020), found that 75.3% reported the CO monitoring increased their motivation to quit, over 90% of smokers indicated the CO monitor taught them about their CO levels and their smoking behaviour, and 73.1% reported that seeing their CO levels made them want to quit smoking.3

Visit www.https://www.bedfont.com/smokerlyzer to learn more about how you can aid patients to stop smoking, one breath at a time, with the Smokerlyzer® range this Stoptober.

References:

1. What is Stoptober? [Internet]. Thestoptober.co.uk. 2022 [cited 23 September 2022]. Available from: https://thestoptober.co.uk/what-is-stoptober/

2. Digital N, Statistics on Smoking E, Smoking S, Statistics on Smoking E, tables S, Author C. Statistics on Smoking, England 2020 – NHS Digital [Internet]. NHS Digital. 2022 [cited 19 October 2022]. Available from: https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/statistics-on-smoking/statistics-on-smoking-england-2020

3. Marler JD, Fujii CA, Wong KS, Galanko JA, Balbierz DJ, and Utley DS. Assessment of a personal interactive carbon monoxide breath sensor in people who smoke cigarettes: single-arm cohort study. Journal of Medical Internet Research. 2020;22(10):1-24. PMID: 32894829 PMCID: PMC7568220 DOI: 10.2196/22811.

Since 2012, Stoptober has been a successful campaign in helping people kick the habit; studies show that if you quit smoking for at least 28 days, you’re 5 times more likely to quit completely.

The Smokerlyzer® range of CO monitors for smoking cessation have been helping people to kick the habit for over 35 years worldwide. Quick, and easy to use, the monitor has a full-colour touchscreen and displays results using a traffic-light system, to help motivate patients to quit smoking.

Carbon monoxide (CO) monitoring is an effective tool for reinforcing motivation during quit attempts as well as validating outcomes, and to help you continue providing excellent smoking cessation consultations and behavioural support, Bedfont® has created some valuable resources to help you safely and effectively resume CO breath testing, including a step-by-step how-to guide and video.

For services that are not yet seeing patients face to face, the latest Smokerlyzer®, iCOquit®, is a personal CO monitor with instant results, ideal for remote CO monitoring.

To watch the videos or download these resources, please visit How-to resume CO breath testing with the Smokerlyzer®.