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Prisons urged to get involved in No Smoking Day

Prisons are being urged to get involved in one of the UK’s biggest health campaigns which last year encouraged hundreds of thousands of smokers to make a quit attempt.  


The British Heart Foundation (BHF) is encouraging prison staff to use No Smoking Day as an opportunity to raise awareness and boost participation among offenders by promoting the support available to them.   

In the UK, studies carried out between 2005 and 2010 estimate smoking prevalence in prisons in excess of 80% in both male and female offenders (1).

Despite the high prevalence of smoking in prisoners, they show the same resolve as other smokers to want to quit. A 2013 report published jointly by the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Psychiatrists found that quit rates among prisoners who used stop smoking services was comparable to quit rates in the general population (2). 

The same report pointed to NICE findings that demonstrate that many British prisoners want to ‘achieve something’ while in prison and view quitting smoking as a big achievement (3).

No Smoking Day 2015 will be held on Wednesday 11 March and is set to inspire quitters with a ‘Proud to be a Quitter’ theme.


Hannah Dedman, marketing manager at the BHF, said: “With such high rates of smoking in prison, it’s vital that prisons take action in spreading awareness of the stop smoking resources and support available to offenders.


“The prison environment provides a setting to engage an otherwise hard-to-reach population and offer them access regular, consistent stop smoking advice and therapy. Prisons who want to get involved in this year’s No Smoking Day should visit NoSmokingDay.org.uk to order or download a free organiser pack.”


When the right resources are in place, stop smoking services in prisons are hugely successful. With recent discussions surrounding smoking bans in prisons, we’re encouraging staff to hold No Smoking Day events on 11 March.” 


Smoking increases the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and a variety of cancers. The good news is that stopping smoking is the single best thing you can do for your heart health, and the risk to your health decreases significantly soon after stopping.

The British Heart Foundation is calling on all smokers to attempt to quit on this year’s No Smoking Day 2015, held on 11 March. The theme is ‘Proud to be a Quitter’ theme, which the inspirational stories of ex-smokers to highlight the life-changing benefits of quitting.

Visit nosmokingday.org.uk to order or download the free No Smoking Day organiser’s pack, which includes posters, leaflets and a handbook. Join the conversation on twitter using the hashtag #NoSmokingDay.



For more information contact Erin Trnkus on 020 7554 0181 or trnkuse@bhf.org.uk


1.     Smoking and mental health. A joint report of the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Psychiatrists. London, RCP, 2013.

2.     Ibid.

3.     National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. NICE public health intervention guidance – Brief interventions and referral for smoking cessation in primary care and other settings. London: NICE, 2006.

About No Smoking Day

No Smoking Day merged with the British Heart Foundation in 2011. The annual No Smoking Day campaign, which is now in its 32nd year, inspires and helps smokers who want to quit, and is supported by an alliance of UK health bodies and charities. For more information about the No Smoking Day campaign, visit www.nosmokingday.org.uk.

About the British Heart Foundation

Coronary heart disease is the UK’s single biggest killer. For over 50 years we’ve pioneered research that’s transformed the lives of people living with heart and circulatory conditions. Our work has been central to the discoveries of vital treatments that are changing the fight against heart disease. But so many people still need our help. From babies born with life-threatening heart problems to the many Mums, Dads and Grandparents who survive a heart attack and endure the daily battles of heart failure. Join our fight for every heartbeat in the UK. Every pound raised, minute of your time and donation to our shops will help make a difference to people’s lives. For more information on the BHF, visit www.bhf.org.uk


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