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Smoking rates across country now lowest on record.

SMOKING rates across England are the lowest on record, health officials have said. Public Health England (PHE) said that 16.9% of the population in England are smokers - the lowest level since records began.

The figures were released as the health body launched its annual Stoptober campaign to encourage the nation's remaining smokers to quit for the month of October.

If people give up the habit for 28 days they are five times more likely to quit for good, PHE said.

Celebrities are also joining the mass quit attempt.

Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood, former cricketer Phil Tufnell and singer Natasha Hamilton will be taking part in the challenge.

Public health officials are focusing their campaign online this year, with more than half a million pounds being ploughed into Facebook advertising.

Last week PHE boss Duncan Selbie said that almost three quarters of smokers use the social media site.

Officials are offering smokers a range of support to help hem, including the Stoptober app and new Facebook Messenger tool.

In England there are now twice as many ex-smokers (14.6 million people), than current smokers (7.2 million), PHE added.

Last year, out of the 2.5 million smokers who made a quit attempt, 500,000 people (20%) were successful.

PHE also released regional figures on areas that have seen the biggest decreases in smoking rates over the last four years.

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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Sep 21, 2016
Words:233
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