National No Smoking Day is an annual health awareness day in the UK which is intended to help smokers who want to quit. The theme for this year's No Smoking Day on 13 March is #TellUsYourWay, urging people to tell friends and family the day that they have chosen to stop smoking and how they are going to do it. The idea is that by working out what is the best option for the individual and having the appropriate level of support, the chances of quitting for good are higher.
Options to help give up smoking can include considering e-cigarettes, will-power alone, or pharmaceutical options such as nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). Most are available without charge on the NHS. The campaign encourages people to promote their ‘quit date’ on social media and to make a statement about how they are committing to achieving their goal. The hope is that support from friends and family will motivate those who are trying to give up smoking.
Lucie Prothero, senior associate at Penningtons Manches who specialises in lung cancer cases, said: “Although around 43,500 people are diagnosed each year with lung cancer and it is the second most common cancer in the UK, it has relatively poor survival prospects compared with other common cancers such as breast and prostate cancer.
“Smoking continues to be one of the most significant risk factors for developing lung cancer. About nine out of ten people who suffer from lung cancer smoke or were smokers in the past. Therefore any campaign which encourages people to give up smoking is a positive step towards improving the lung cancer statistics in this country.
“Macmillan has reported that about half of people with lung cancer die within six months of diagnosis. It has been suggested that one of the reasons for this poor statistical outcome is delayed diagnosis. We receive many enquiries from cancer patients and their families who are concerned that the opportunity for an earlier diagnosis was missed. Often in circumstances where there is a claim for negligence, it has involved patients presenting to clinicians with consistent patterns of symptoms, where appropriate investigations have not been made or have been inappropriately reported or followed-up.”