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"I'm In" - Duncan Bannatyne Judges "Switch Ash for Cash" Schools Competition
Date:3/11/2009

LONDON, March 11 /PRNewswire/ --

- With Photo

To mark this year's No Smoking Day, three 'mini' entrepreneurs today went head-to-head to win a GBP2,000 investment from TV Dragon Duncan Bannatyne. In a re-enactment of the TV challenge, the school children faced their toughest challenge yet when they presented their big ideas on how they could encourage parents to give up smoking.

Shannon Stokes, 9, from Neith, South Wales, won with her proposal to support parents who want to quit. "Shannon's Sweet Success" reminds parents of the reasons they are giving up and rewards their quit attempts using sweets.

Of the winner, Bannatyne says: "I was looking for a good idea, well presented by someone with enthusiasm. A twenty-a-day smoker could save GBP2,111 a year by quitting, so it makes financial sense, health sense and good common sense. There's no better time to quit than No Smoking Day."

The No Smoking Day 'Switch Ash for Cash' competition comes on the back of research that shows more than one in three (36%) of the nine million smokers in the UK are thinking about or planning to cut down or quit as a direct result of the economic downturn. The poll also shows that one in ten (9%) will be taking the first step and making a quit attempt on No Smoking Day.

Women are more likely to cut down or think about giving up (40% compared to 32% of male smokers). The report also found:

    - 43% of smokers in Scotland and 33% of smokers in Wales are thinking
      about or planning to cut down or quit because of the recession

    - Smokers in the Midlands are most likely to quit because of the
      recession

Almost three-quarters[1] of smokers would like to quit and No Smoking Day is encouraging them to take the first step today by seeking advice from their local stop smoking service, GP or pharmacist.

Dan Tickle, Chief Executive of the No Smoking Day charity said: "Giving up cigarettes will boost your bank balance - but the health benefits are even greater, including easier breathing, improved fitness and healthier hair, nails and skin. It's a fact that quitters also notice they have more energy after only a matter of days.

"By choosing No Smoking Day to quit, smokers will be joining a million others taking the first step to a healthier - and wealthier life. And you don't have to quit alone. You're four times more likely to succeed if you use a free NHS Stop Smoking Service."

Shannon won GBP250 worth of gift tokens for her family and a GBP2,111 donation for her school, Clun Primary, Neith South Wales.

Runners-up, Isabella Dalton-Bunker and Daniel Thomas received GBP100 worth of family gift tokens.

    Notes to Editors

                        Smokers considering        Smokers
                        cutting down or quitting   considering
                        because of the recession   quitting on No
                                                   Smoking Day
    East Midlands       48%                        5%
    West Midlands       44%                        12%
    South East          40%                        11%
    Yorkshire and       38%                        9%
    the Humber
    East of England     37%                        8%
    North of England    33%                        7%
    North West          30%                        7%
    London              28%                        7%
    South West          28%                        8%
    Scotland            41%                        12%
    Wales               33%                        13%



    - For photographs of Duncan Bannatyne, Dan Tickle, or for take
      the first step graphics, contact the No Smoking Day team (details
      below).

    - Case studies of celebrity and real-life quitters are
      available from the No Smoking Day team (details below).

    - No Smoking Day is organised by a charity of the same name run
      by four full time staff. Based in London, the charity is funded by a
      coalition of governmental and voluntary sector organisations with an
      interest in health.

The charity aims to help people who want to stop smoking by creating a supportive environment for them, and by highlighting the many sources of help available to people who want to quit.

    - Duncan Bannatyne holds an OBE and was recently awarded an
      honorary Doctorate of Science from Glasgow Caledonian University for
      services to business and charity. Earlier this month he was also
      awarded an honorary degree in business from Teeside University. He has
      been involved with charities including UNICEF and Scottish
      International Relief, and he has recently launched the Bannatyne
      Charitable Trust to support worthwhile causes.

    He has appeared on Dragons' Den since its first series.

    - All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.
      Total sample size was 4511 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between
      12th and 18th February 2009. The survey was conducted online. The
      figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults
      (aged 18+).

    - There are 9.4 million Smokers in the UK (Smoking and drinking
      among adults, 2007)

    - ISDN line available for interviews.

    - National stop smoking telephone help lines:


    England - 0800-169-0-169
    Northern Ireland - 0800-85-85-85
    Scotland - 0800-84-84-84
    Wales - 0800-169-0-169

A picture accompanying this release is available through the PA Photowire. It can be downloaded from http://www.pa-mediapoint.press.net or viewed at http://www.mediapoint.press.net or http://www.prnewswire.co.uk.

http://www.nosmokingday.org.uk

[1] NHS Smokefree factsheet: facts on quitting

For further information, contact Elana McIntyre, PR & Marketing Manager or Vishnee Sauntoo, Marketing Director on +44-(0)20-7739-5110 email: elana@nosmokingday.org.uk / vishnee@nosmokingday.org.uk. Out of office press mobile: +44-(0)7770-657-241


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SOURCE No Smoking Day
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