Press Centre

Seven attempts to kick the habit once and for all

  • 72% of shoppers took up smoking to be rebellious

  • 74% of smokers cite cost as the biggest reason for giving up

  • Average smoker watching £111,400 go up in smoke


It takes the average smoker no less than seven attempts to kick the habit before they’re finally smoke free. A survey by supermarket Asda reveals 63% of smokers have attempted to give up smoking and on average failed seven times before they actually kick the habit.

“Being rebellious” is the main reason 72% of shoppers surveyed take up smoking, with stress and struggling with cravings being cited as the reasons why smokers struggle to kick the habit. Health factors and pressure from family have been cited as key triggers to kicking the habit, but 74% of smokers admit cost is the biggest factor.

The average smoker is watching up to £111,400* go up in smoke over 30 years, through buying cigarettes and paying health insurance premiums that rocket by up to 50% as a smoker. With over 54% of shoppers surveyed being tied to cigarettes for up to and over 25 years, Asda urges smokers to persevere when kicking the habit – they are four times more likely to quit if they accept support.

With £111,400 you could buy:

  • 2,476 Manchester United 2010/11home shirts

  • 31,829 rib-eye steaks (a steak a day for 87 years)

  • 5,570,000 cups of tea

  • 31 family holidays for four to Disney Land, Florida

  • 4 new Golf GTIs

  • Fill the average family car with petrol 1,238 times

  • Very nice pension!


Around 65% of smokers say they want to stop smoking, but most believe they are unable to. Asda Pharmacy, which offers free stop-smoking consultations in store is on hand to offer the advice and support to help smokers quit once and for all.

Giving up trends

  • The majority of smokers will actually try to quit ‘cold turkey’ without any support, however, this is unlikely to succeed

  • By comparison, using a nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) product such as a nicotine patches or chewing gum, quitters can double their chance of success vs. willpower alone

  • This success rate increases even further with the help and support of a health care professional such as a pharmacist or GP

  • Sales of NRT products in Asda were up 26% in the first half of the 2010 with the greatest uplift seen in the Manchester, North East and South West / Bristol area


Product trends

  • New products and innovation really drive market growth as demonstrated by Nicorette Inhalator and the growth of lozenge category

  • The need to tackle cravings quickly is a key purchase driver and consumers are looking for flexible formats to help them do this. The launch of Nicorette QuickmistMouthspray (March in ASDA) will be really exciting for quitters. This first ever launch of a mouth spray to help you stop smoking that is an instant release spray for fast craving relief

  • Use of technology to help support them as they quit such as Nicorette i-phone app, Facebook groups, blogs, Twitter as quitters look to their friends and family to provide added support on their quit journey


Faisal Tuddy, Pharmacist and Commercial manager at Asda Pharmacy said: “Smoking is a notoriously tricky habit to give up, with people being easily tempted by friends who smoke, stress and simply finding the cravings too much. Asda Pharmacists have been trained to advise and give support to our customers to help them quit the habit, which will not only improve their health but also give them much more money for fun with their family.”

Posted in Press Centre on 09 March 2011