One in four smokers say cost of cigarettes would be their top trigger to quit

Some of the top triggers that would encourage Brits to stop smoking include being asked to by a partner, child, or grandchild – and the rising cost of cigarettes, a study has found.

In a 31-day month, a smoker buying a pack of 20 cigarettes a day would spend £446.40 – with one in three feeling guilty about the amount they spend on the habit.

But 32%, of the 1,500 smokers polled, believe the price per cigarette will rise to over £1 by the end of 2024 – and 26% say that, if this threshold is crossed, they will be forced to try and kick the habit, due to cost.

A quarter believe the savings they could make from quitting would be “life-changing”, with 16% saying their family would also notice the financial benefits.

And perhaps counter-intuitively, a quarter of smokers regard the idea of a £1 cigarette to be a bigger psychological trigger to push them to quit, than the idea of paying £20 for a pack of 20.

The findings are part of the “IQOS No Smoke Index”, an ongoing research project designed to better understand the challenges faced by UK smokers attempting to quit cigarettes.

Harry Wake, from IQOS – a tobacco heating system that, unlike cigarettes, produce no fire, ash, or smoke – said: “The cost of cigarettes is clearly a huge factor for many smokers seeking cheaper and less harmful alternatives.

“The research shows there’s definitely a psychological trigger in paying more than a pound for a single cigarette, and it looks as though rising costs will naturally push people to the limits of what they can afford to pay for a habit – it is getting to the point of not being sustainable.”

The research also revealed 24% believe price is a big factor in whether they continue to smoke, while 16% admit that their family would notice the financial benefit if they stopped smoking cigarettes.

And 41% of those polled, via OnePoll, have already attempted a switch to vaping to try and cut smoking, while 32% have tried nicotine patches, and 27% have turned to gums or lozenges.

However, 39% of smokers admitted to using no aids or methods during their last quit attempt, instead choosing to go “cold turkey” – but only 9% managed to stay off the habit for longer than a month.

Harry Wake, from IQOS, added: “While everyone knows the best choice any smoker can make is to quit tobacco and nicotine products completely, for those that don’t, switching completely presents less risk to your health than continuing to smoke.

“Of course, it’s easier said than done when it comes to stopping smoking, but the benefits are there for all to see – health and wealth, it’s a win-win all round.”

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