Smokers across England are being encouraged to take part in ‘Stoptober’, the nation’s biggest quitting campaign.
Marking its 10 year anniversary, the campaign will launch a mass quit attempt on October 1, calling on smokers to join the 2.3 million others who have made a quit attempt since the movement started in 2012.
Smoking in England remains the leading cause of premature death, with almost 75,000 preventable deaths a year.
A recent survey of 2,000 current smokers revealed that nearly 45 per cent of the lot have been smoking more since the first lockdown due to boredom and as the pandemic made them more anxious.
The survey also found that craving followed by stress are the biggest obstacles to quitting.
However, more than half of smokers want to quit to improve their physical health or to save money.
Stoptober is based on research that if a smoker can make it to 28 days smoke-free, they are 5-times more likely to quit.
The campaign offers a range of free quitting tools including:
- NHS Quit Smoking app
- Facebook messenger bot
- Stoptober Facebook online communities
- Daily emails and SMS
- Online Personal Quit Plan, which includes expert support from local Stop Smoking Services and stop smoking aids
Scott Crosby, Tobacco Control Programme manager at Public Health England, said: “It’s been a tough time over the pandemic for smokers. But the numbers trying to quit is up and the success rate is up. Now is the time to do it! Sign up to Stoptober and make it a success.”
Leading UK health organisations, including The Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation, are joining the campaign to encourage smokers to quit.
Eluned Hughes, head of Health Advice at Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation, said: “Quitting smoking is one of the best things anyone can do to improve their overall health. Smoking seriously damages the lungs, putting people at greater risk of developing conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).”