It’s quittin’ time – Stoptober is back to encourage smokers to quit for good

Stoptober Launch

Stoptober Launch, celebrities who are supporting the challenge. Image Credit: Public Health England.

The nations smokers are once again being encouraged to sign up to Public Health England’s annual mass quitting challenge, Stoptober. With more than a million people signing up to the Stoptober challenge since its launch in 2012 – including various celebrities – you’ll be in good company.

Research shows that those who successfully give up smoking for a period of 28 days – or in this case, the entire month of October – are five times more likely to stop smoking for good, and a quitter’s chances are boosted even further if they are stopping smoking along with friends, family or colleagues.

Celebrities taking part in this year’s Stoptober challenge include former footballer and manager now TV presenter Chris Kamara; singer-songwriter and Atomic Kitten Natasha Hamilton; former England cricketer and Question of Sport captain Phil Tufnell and Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood. (Pictured left to right above).

“Give it another go”

Phil Tufnell Stoptober. Image Credit: Public Health England

Phil Tufnell Stoptober. Image Credit: Public Health England.

Phil Tufnell, who has been a smoker for 35 years, says: “I have smoked pretty steadily since I was a teenager, even through my cricket career. I have tried to give up before and know how tough it is, but I am going to try and quit again from October 1.

“Even if you have tried quitting before like me and failed, just give it another go and keep trying. The more you try to quit the more likely you are to get there. Stoptober is here to help, so let’s try and get through to 28 days without a fag by taking it one day at a time.”

New data shows that of the 2.5million people who tried to give up smoking in 2015, half a million people quit permanently and will already be reaping the benefits of stopping, including improvements to health and extra money in their pockets.

Public Health England (PHE) says this highest-ever recorded rate of people quitting using tobacco for good could be thanks to a combination of quitting aids – including e-cigarettes and other forms of nicotine replacement – local stop smoking support services and also good old-fashioned willpower and determination on the part of those who have quit successfully. Recent reports show that there are now more than a million e-cigarette users or ‘vapers’ in England, many of whom have fully quit using tobacco thanks to e-cigs.

Smoking the “biggest cause of preventable early death”

Professor Kevin Fenton, National Director of Health and Wellbeing for PHE says: “While it is amazing that there are over twice as many ex-smokers as current smokers in England there are still over 7 million people regularly lighting up.

“Alongside unhealthy diet, smoking is the biggest cause of preventable early death in England, accounting for over 78,000 deaths a year. Quitters will soon see they have reduced blood pressure, easier breathing and better circulation. Stopping smoking is the best thing a smoker can do to improve their health.”

Want to stop smoking? Help is available

Stopping Smoking Cigarettes

This is where Stoptober comes in – by providing support and opportunities for solidarity amongst those serious about stopping smoking. Quitters can join others taking part in the challenge for some mutual morale boosting via the social media Stoptober pages – just Like the Stoptober page on Facebook and Follow Stoptober on Twitter.

People who sign up to this year’s 28-day challenge can also access a range of free support including daily emails, a Facebook Messenger bot to offer encouragement and a free-to-download Stoptober app.

The Stoptober app includes a 28-day programme that provides daily messages of support, reward badges as you notch up the smoke-free days and a running calculator to remind you how much cash you are saving. The app also features a special cravings button with tips and content to help you fend off nicotine cravings when they strike. Find out more about the app or download it for free.

For more tips and reasons to give up smoking, visit our other Live Healthy articles:

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About the author

Georgie Fenn, is our brilliant Content Marketing Executive here at General & Medical