11 October 2011

No Smoking Day to Join Forces with British Heart Foundation

British Heart Foundation (BHF) declared that the No Smoking Day will be set for March 2012 in order to protect its future following a 50% decrease in its funding due to government shrinkages. No Smoking Day already exists for more than 25 years; it allows support to many local organizations to conduct a stop-smoking day annually.

But following government expenditures cuts the charity's revenue dropped from just over £1m in 2009 to £418,000 in 2011. For instance the Department of Health funding was decreased from £250,000 to £125,000 and there was any funding from the Scottish government or other related entities.

“No Smoking Day is UK's most successful public health campaign. As many other charities we have been significantly affected by public authorities’ cuts with 50% of our full funding wiped out. Luckily we realized to assure a stable and long-lasting future No Smoking Day with the BHF,” stated Amit Aggarwal, chief executive of No Smoking Day.

In July 2010 the charity proposed a strategic plan for its future in order to guarantee constant funding and creating new stakeholder networks and collaborations.

The merger with BHF will have two No Smoking Day employees, marketing manager Vishnee Sauntoo and business manager Judith Skinner, who will enroll in the 45-strong policy and communications team at BHF. “By joining forces we are able to improve the No Smoking Day campaign thus helping more people quit cigarettes, as well as intensifying our policy and lobbying work. The opportunities promised by this merger were too good to miss,” declared Betty McBride, director of policy and communications at BHF.

All No Smoking Days vicarious agents have resigned as part of the merger. Their chief executives, Amit Aggarwal, was leaved on a fixed-term contract until November this year in order to secure the financial perspective of No Smoking Day and direct the team through its 2011 campaign. “Aggarwal has realized a great job. He conducted the merger negotiations and plans to continue working in the voluntary sector,” a BHF spokesperson said in an interview.

No Smoking Day will keep its brand in the merger although BHF is thinking how best combine BHF brand into a unique name. “The NSD is well-known by cigarettes smokes, health care authorities and journalist, and the BHF believed that it will have an effect. The BHF is currently discussing with its members the conditions and methods of introduction the BHF to the name, but it does not want to do anything that will affect NSD’s existing reputation,” BHF representative declared at the press conference.

No Smoking Day is entirely responsible for 250,000 people trying to stop smoking each year, approximately 6,000 of which do so at every turn.