Of course, taking that first step can be daunting, however, what better time to kickstart your stop smoking journey than on National No Smoking Day 2021? This year, in collaboration with ASH and BREATHE 2025, the Today is the Day platform is reaching out to smokers with the message “quitting smoking doesn’t have to be stressful”, and National No Smoking Day is the perfect opportunity for you to experience that for yourself.
So, as the occasion approaches, we take a look at all the information you need so you can use National Stop Smoking Day as a springboard to help you quit for good. Read on to learn about the history of the campaign, what’s happening on the day itself, and why today is always the best day to put smoking behind you!
When Is National No Smoking Day?
National No Smoking Day is an annual day of awareness that always takes place on the second Wednesday of March. This year, the date falls on March 10th, and despite the current challenges surrounding the global pandemic, smokers everywhere will be encouraged to refrain from smoking for the day.
Inaugurated on Ash Wednesday 1984, the campaign was intended to raise awareness and highlight the health implications of smoking tobacco for both smokers and those who regularly spend time with smokers, such as family and friends. Since that time, it has been celebrated each year to encourage smokers to take that first step towards abandoning their nicotine addiction.
For many years, the campaign was coordinated by the No Smoking Day charity, however, after its closure in 2011, the British Heart Foundation took over the role. Now, thanks to the successes of the #QuitForCovid campaign2, National No Smoking Day will also be coordinated by the Today is the Day platform.
Each year, the campaign has adopted a promotional theme to help smokers find the motivation they need to quit. In 2020, ASH Scotland took the Quit Your Way slogan, using the hashtag #QYWay. Previous slogans included “Break Free”, “Time to Quit” and others.
The success of these slogans and the surrounding campaigns have been well received. According to one study conducted in 20063, the 22 years of National No Smoking Day was reaching out to smokers effectively, using local and national awareness campaigns, to help them quit.
What’s happening on National No Smoking Day in the UK
National No Smoking Day 2021 is all about encouraging people to quit, not just for the day, but for good! This year, the UK campaign is using the opportunity to get smokers to think about a positive smoke-free future with the message “quitting smoking doesn’t have to be stressful”. To do this, they are encouraging smokers to access the NHS quit smoking portal and learn more about the dangers of smoking and how smoking aids can help you quit.
National No Smoking Day in 2021 also has several key messages designed to take away some of the stress associated with your stop smoking journey:
- Quitting smoking doesn’t have to be painful – With the use of stop smoking aids you can successfully beat your addiction without feeling like you need a cigarette 24/7!
- Quitting smoking isn’t always easy – Smokers already know this, but by using the right tools and quit smoking aids you too can stub out your last cigarette!
- Today is the day – National No Smoking Day is the perfect launchpad to stop smoking, and according to research, those who quit for 6 weeks or more are happier and experience less anxiety4 than those who continue smoking.
National No Smoking Day is also using both the #TodayIsTheDay and #NoSmokingDay hashtags to spread the message to smokers, their families and friends, helping everyone to get on the same page and encourage smokers to take a breath of fresh air and look after your lungs!
National No Smoking Day – The Benefits of Quitting
Quitting smoking is a great way of improving your health and there are countless benefits to quitting for you, your family and friends. Looking at the stop smoking timeline, you’ll see exactly what benefits you can expect the longer you abstain from cigarettes after National No Smoking Day 2021.
The stop smoking timeline is an excellent way to help you manage cravings, detailing what you can expect as each day passes. It shows clearly how the worst cravings quickly dissipate, and according to one study conducted in 20175, the first day is always the hardest—meaning National No Smoking Day is the perfect chance to get all the support you need to get through it!
It’s also a useful guide to the kinds of benefits you will enjoy when you quit6. These include:
- Reduced risk of all types of cancer
- Reduced risks of chronic respiratory conditions
- Increased energy and reduced fatigue
- Increased fertility and libido
- Reduced expenses – since you don’t need to buy cigarettes!
If you go the whole day without smoking, you’ll already start enjoying some of these benefits, however, there’s always the chance of relapse after National No Smoking day has passed. Don’t worry though, just pick up where you left off on March 10th and read up on how you can avoid your main triggers. The bottom line is, even after National No Smoking Day, you should never give up giving up!
National No Smoking Day 2021 — The Case for Quitting During COVID-19
This year’s National No Smoking Day, of course, is taking place in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. The repercussions of this devastating virus are already well known, and as COVID-19 directly affects the respiratory functions, it is thought that smokers who contract the virus are at increased risk of developing serious symptoms that may require hospitalisation7.
However, the Today is the Day platform’s #QuitForCovid campaign is one of the reasons that millions of people quit smoking in the UK during the pandemic8, with the hope that National No Smoking Day 2021 will convince even more smokers that there has never been a better time to quit.
For more information on how to quit on National No Smoking Day and enjoy the many benefits of stopping smoking, visit your local pharmacy for advice on building a plan with support of NRT products.