MORE and more people are not smoking, according to new research.

Figures released by Public Health England (PHE) show the smoking rate for Brighton and Hove is 19.3 per cent, while the number of people in the city who have never smoked is on the rise, at 50.8 per cent.

The data shows a similar pattern for East Sussex as a whole, where the overall smoking rate is 13.8 per cent, and for West Sussex, where the smoking rate is just 12.5 per cent.

The statistics have been released to coincide with PHE’s national Stoptober campaign, which launches on October 1 and aims to help smokers to quit.

Smokers can access quitting support resources, including an app which shows how much money they have saved by not smoking.

Jason Mahoney, health and wellbeing programme lead at Public Health England South East, said: “Stoptober is a perfect time for smokers to try and end their harmful relationship with smoking, however many times they may have tried in the past.”

“I would encourage anyone thinking of quitting to visit the Stoptober website, make a plan and commit to quit with Stoptober.”

Mr Mahoney said evidence shows that smokers are more likely to quit with support from a stop smoking service than if they try to go it alone.

He said: “The biggest cause of preventable deaths in England is smoking and no matter how long a person has smoked, quitting really is the best thing a smoker can do for their health.”

To date, the Stoptober campaign has supported over 1.9 million people on their quit journey.

If a smoker can make it to 28 days smoke-free, they are five times more likely to quit for good.

Research suggests the common barriers for people trying to quit smoking include procrastination and a fear of failure.

Fiona Wright, 65, from Worthing, said she feels like a new person since quitting.

She said: “In February this year I developed a serious cough which occasionally left me struggling to breathe.

“A specialist clinic said it could be either COPD or asthma, and this was a turning point for me.

“Since June I haven’t touched a cigarette, and although I’m still on Champix, I’m adamant I won’t restart.

“My cough is disappearing and I’m saving around £300 per month.”

GP and medical broadcaster Dr Rosemary Leonard said the Stoptober community can really help with motivation and staying on track.

She said: “We know it can be hard to give up smoking but now is the time to give it a try, whether it’s the first time or you’ve tried before.

“Additional support is also available from local stop smoking services, GPs, pharmacies and of course, the Stoptober and NHS Smokefree websites.

“If you’re a non-smoker, use this chance to support a loved one as they split up with smoking this Stoptober.”