Start the decade right by making it smoke-free

Cllr Islam stop smoking

Cllr Sirajul Islam takes a carbon monoxide test

Tower Hamlets Council is encouraging the borough’s 46,000 smokers to make 2020 the year they quit smoking for good.

On Thursday 9 January, Deputy Mayor Councillor Sirajul Islam helped to launch the council’s new year quit smoking campaign at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel.

The day saw local stop smoking service Quit Right Tower Hamlets offering free support and information for residents who want to use the new year to kick the unhealthy habit. With the right support, smokers are four times more likely to quit than if they were to try on their own.

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “Quitting smoking is one of the most important things people can do for their health and also the health of their loved ones. Last year, we successfully supported more people to quit smoking in Tower Hamlets than any other London borough but there’s more work to be done.

“The new year is a great time for people to take stock and start afresh and I would encourage anyone who smokes or chews tobacco in Tower Hamlets to take full advantage of the free resources and support available locally.”

Tower Hamlets has one of the highest rates of smoking and chewing tobacco in the country, with nearly one in five adults (19.7 per cent) smoking compared to 15 per cent nationally. Chewing tobacco also causes serious health harms and is common in the Bangladeshi community.

Last year, nearly 1,800 residents were supported to stop smoking – the highest number of people quitting in the past five years.

Quit Right Tower Hamlets can advise people on the many different ways there are to quit, such as using nicotine replacement therapy. This includes patches, chewing gum, lozenges or e-cigarettes, which have been shown to be 95 per cent less harmful than smoking.

Councillor Sirajul Islam, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “Quitting smoking is not only good for your health but can also have a huge financial benefit. If you smoke 20 cigarettes a day you will save more than £3,000 a year by quitting. If your new year’s resolution is to quit smoking or chewing tobacco, there are fantastic free local services that can help you achieve your goal.”

People can access support from Quit Right Tower Hamlets by calling 020 7882 8230 (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm), visiting or emailing  


For more information about this release contact the London Borough of Tower Hamlets communications team on 020 7364 4389 or email

Posted on Wednesday 15th January 2020