Hereford has emerged as the third city most eager to quit smoking, according to research released following the government’s announcement of the ‘swap to stop’ scheme.

This initiative aims to offer one million smokers vape starter kits to help the nation become “smoke-free”.

The Abbeycare Foundation, a UK residential rehab provider, conducted a study analysing Google search volumes for terms related to quitting smoking, such as “Quit smoking”, “Go smoke free”, and “Ways to quit smoking”. The research also examined search terms for smoking alternatives, including “Nicotine patches” and “E Cigarettes”.

Hereford residents demonstrated a strong desire to quit smoking, with a search volume of 444 per 100,000 residents, which is almost 240 per 100,000 or 116 per cent above the national average. Locals showed a particular interest in nicotine patches, searching for them at a rate of just over 30 per 100,000. Other generic phrases regarding smoking cessation averaged around 15 searches per 100,000 residents.

Inverness topped the list with the highest search volume related to quitting smoking per 100,000 population. Popular search terms included “Quit smoking” and “Go smoke free”, while queries about smoking alternatives such as E-cigarettes and nicotine patches and gum were also common. The city’s search volume of 491 per 100,000 population exceeded the national average by a staggering 140 per cent.

Walsall followed closely with 488 searches per 100,000 residents, which is 283 per 100,000 or an impressive 138 per cent above the national average. The town exhibited a notable interest in nicotine patches, with nearly 75 searches per 100,000 residents. Searches for straightforward terms like “Quit smoking” and “Quitting smoking” were also frequent.

Welsh city Wrexham ranked fourth in the study, with a search volume per 100,000 residents of 441, which is more than 230 per 100,000 or 115 per cent above the national average. The most popular search terms in the area were “Quit smoking” and “Quitting smoking”. Wrexham residents also searched for “Nicotine patches” at one of the highest rates, with just under 50 searches per 100,000.

Other cities featured in the top ten include Mansfield (fifth), Wigan (sixth), Norwich (seventh), Lincoln (eighth), Bath (ninth), and Chester (tenth). Norwich residents displayed the highest total search volume in the top ten cities, meaning that without adjusting for population size, they searched for quitting smoking-related terms the most.

A spokesperson for Abbeycare Foundation commented on the findings: “Smoking is one of the most prevalent addictions in the UK today. It’s very positive to see the volumes of people showing an interest in smoking cessation, and interesting to discover the areas in which there’s the largest sentiment for this kind of action.”

For each major city in the UK, Google Keywords search volume data was acquired for search terms related to quitting smoking. These search volumes were then summed by location, and the locations were ranked by this search volume. Search volumes were divided by the population of their respective location and multiplied by 100,000, giving the volume per 100,000 population.

This research highlights the growing interest in smoking cessation across the UK, with Hereford ranking as the third city most eager to quit. As the government’s ‘swap to stop’ scheme gains traction, it is hoped that the nation will make significant strides towards becoming “smoke-free”. The search volumes for quitting demonstrate the interest of residents to overcoming the addiction.