Stoptober urges smokers to 'mass quit'

Stubbing out cigarette Smoking is the biggest cause of premature death in England

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Smokers are being asked to give up smoking for 28 days from 1 October in the first mass quit attempt.

Stoptober, backed by Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation, hopes a united effort will help many of England's eight million smokers to quit successfully.

Research shows people who stop smoking for 28 days are five times more likely to stay smoke-free.

It also shows mass movements and mass media campaigns can have a big impact.

Public health experts say campaigns that include a combination of hard-hitting "why to quit" and supportive "how to quit" messages work best.

Giving up smoking can be difficult. People are much more likely to quit successfully if they get support than if they try to do it alone and go cold-turkey.

Quitting tips

  • Be clear why you want to quit
  • Tell people you are quitting and use their support
  • Use stop smoking services
  • Have a plan

Robert West, director of tobacco studies at University College London, told the BBC there was good reason to set up a mass movement to help smokers quit because people are "social animals" influenced by each other.

Smokers who join Stoptober are given free support to help them quit. There is a mobile phone app that can monitor quitters' progress and the offer of daily motivational texts to keep them on track.

There is also a Stoptober Facebook page where people can exchange ideas and get additional tips and advice.

According to the Department of Health, smoking is the biggest cause of premature death in England and accounts for over 100,000 deaths in the UK each year.

One in two long-term smokers will die from a smoking-related disease.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 156.

    Iam so so desperate to give up smoking! I've tried several times and it's really the only thing in life I do fail at. I am strong willed to some extent but each time this nasty little thing just keeps dragging me back. I will keep trying as I really really want to see my children get married one day. Oh and please don't tell me Iam being weak by not stopping it won't work!

  • rate this

    Comment number 143.

    Utter waste of time and effort. Does anyone really think that smokers don't know it's harmful? That they haven't heard every nag in the book? That they don't already know that help is available?

    This is just ridiculous.

  • rate this

    Comment number 84.

    My wife and gave up back in May. Not for the first time either. however, this time we used patches and weened ourselves off the patches slowly. It's been worth it, I now struggle to understand how we ever afforded it in the first place. We both have had cravings but neither of us want to smoke again, and supporting each other in this is incredibly beneficial when cravings, however rare, do occur.

  • rate this

    Comment number 80.

    I have never yet met anyone who, having given it up, regretted doing so and subsequently decided to take up smoking again.
    Good luck to all those who are trying.

  • rate this

    Comment number 79.

    When I gave up (cold turkey) I said to myself the old AA credo that today I am not going to smoke; I could handle the fact that today I was not going to smoke. I could not have handled the thought of never smoking again, ever. That was over five years ago on the day of the pub smoking ban.

    One day at a time makes it easier than you think.


Comments 5 of 11


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