‘Commit to Quit’ on World No Tobacco Day


The Public Health Agency is urging smokers to use the opportunity of World No Tobacco Day (31 May) to ‘Commit to Quit’.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently launched the year-long global campaign ‘Commit to Quit’. The campaign aims to support 100 million people worldwide in their attempt to give up tobacco through various initiatives and digital solutions.

Colette Rogers, Strategic Lead for Tobacco Control with the PHA, said: “We are encouraging people to join with us and others throughout the world in committing to quit.

“Although this past year has brought many challenges, it has also helped each of us to place a higher value on our own health and wellbeing. If you are a smoker, one of the best things you can do to improve your health is to quit. It is also the case that the better your health in general, the better your resistance to viruses such as COVID-19 and flu.

“People can use World No Tobacco Day as the date to start their quit journey and improve their health.

“Stopping smoking now will have a positive impact on your health, not only in the long term, but also more quickly in ways you probably hadn’t thought about.

“For example, if you smoke, your fingers are in contact with your lips, increasing the possibility of transmission of COVID-19 from hand to mouth.”

The ‘Commit to Quit’ campaign will support at least 100 million people globally as they try to give up tobacco through communities of quitters.

“We recognise that quitting smoking is challenging and it can take several tries to be successful,” said Colette.

“Please don’t be discouraged from trying again, we can help.” 

In light of the current pandemic, measures have been put in place to ensure continued access to PHA-funded Stop Smoking Services while still following social distancing guidelines. This includes telephone contact or video calls rather than face-to-face support. These measures will ensure you can still access Stop Smoking Services in a manner which is safe and easy for you.

A range of services are available across Northern Ireland that can help and support people to quit. Experienced stop smoking staff provide a friendly, supportive service. And will help design a stop smoking plan that will work best for you to make your quit attempt as easy as possible.

Services are offered through many community pharmacies, GP practices, HSC Trust premises, community and voluntary organisations and by Cancer Focus NI. Find your nearest free Stop Smoking service at www.stopsmokingni.info using our service locater map.

Top tips for giving up smoking

  • Make a date to give up – and stick to it!
  • Make a plan. Think about what could help you stop smoking, such as using a nicotine-replacement product, and have it ready before the date you plan to stop.
  • Get support from your local Stop Smoking Service. Also, let your family and friends know that you're quitting. Some people find that talking to friends and relatives who have stopped can be helpful.
  • Keep busy to help take your mind off cigarettes. Try to change your routine, (and plan alternative activities for places you associate with smoking)and avoid the shop where you normally buy cigarettes.
  • Treat yourself. If you can, use the money you're saving by not smoking to buy yourself something special. Use the calculator tool on www.stopsmokingni.info to see how much you could save by quitting.

For more information on the services available and useful tips to stop smoking, visit the PHA’s www.stopsmokingni.info website.

Information on the WHO’s Commit to Quit campaign is available at www.who.int/news/item/08-12-2020-who-launches-year-long-campaign-to-help-100-million-people-quit-tobacco