Stoptober 2018: Public Health England Campaign to quit smoking revealed

For those looking to quit smoking, October is Stoptober.

The public health campaign kicked off several years ago and helps assist UK smokers looking to quit with the resources and personal support they need to do just that.

Here’s all you need to know about the Stoptober campaign as well as information about the dangers of cigarette smoking, reasons to quit smoking and how to quit.

Stoptober has reportedly led to hundreds of thousands of attempts to quit smoking in the UK

What is Stoptober?

Stoptober is a health awareness campaign by Public Health England that’s part of the broader One You campaign aimed at helping people quit smoking, much like National No Smoking Day.

Launched in 2012, the campaign offers free support and resources for those looking to stop smoking, including through medications, apps, social media groups and personal support from local health services.

Today, the campaign is the largest and most popular event in the United Kingdom aimed at getting masses of people to give up smoking.

When is Stoptober 2018?

Specifically, Stoptober 2018 is held from October 1 to October 28.

The 28-day time frame reportedly comes from research that shows that people who quit smoking for 28 days are five times more likely to quit smoking on a permanent basis.

Stoptober statistics

Since launching in 2012, Stoptober has led to more than 1.5 million quit attempts in the UK.

In addition, a 2017 report by the University College of London has showed that quitting success rates in the UK are the highest they’ve been in at least a decade, up to 19.8 per cent for the first six months of 2017 and considerably higher than the ten-year average of 15.7 per cent.

The rise in quitting coincides with the growing success of the Stoptober public health campaign in the UK.

Dangers of cigarette smoking

Smoking cigarettes has repeatedly been proven to be very dangerous to a smokers’ health and to the health of those around them.

According to the British Heart Foundation, smoking can seriously damage arterial linings, increasing the risks of heart attacks and strokes. It can also lead to blood clots, increased blood pressure and other serious heart and lung problems like coronary heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and emphysema.

It’s also known as the leading cause of lung cancer and can lead to increased risk of mouth, esophageal, pancreatic and bladder cancers.

Reasons to quit smoking

Experts give a number of reasons for people to quit smoking for the sake of both themselves and for those around them.

First and foremost, quitting smoking can greatly improve personal health, leading to both short-term and long-term health benefits. Within 20 minutes of stopping smoking, heart rates and blood pressure drops while blood circulation and lung function improves and heart attack risks decline as soon as two weeks after quitting.

Within two to five years of quitting smoking, the risk of throat, mouth, esophagus and bladder cancer is cut in half while the risk of lung cancer is halved ten years after quitting.

It’s also a great way to save money, as those who smoke one pack per day could save roughly £250 every month.

Finally, quitting smoking can help protect family members from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke, greatly reducing their risk of developing lung cancer, asthma, meningitis and other health problems.

How to quit smoking

A number of ways to quit smoking exist. Specifically, the British Heart Foundation recommends picking a firm quitting date, making a list of reasons to quit and building a support network to assist in quitting.

It also recommends getting rid of any reminders of smoking ahead of a target quitting date such as lighters and ashtrays, utilizing specialists to assist in quitting and avoiding ‘trigger situations’ that induce stress and trigger the urge to smoke.

In 2017, the Stoptober campaign also backed the use of e-cigarettes to help smokers quit, though some have cautioned that e-cigarettes still pose potential health risks.