What is Stoptober?
Today (1st October) is officially the start of Stoptober – a health awareness campaign to support people to give up smoking.
The NHS launched Stoptober in 2012 and it is now part of the One You campaign, which aims to help adults make small changes to their lifestyle and improve their overall health.
Stoptober is held from 1st -28th October and is based on the idea that quitting smoking for 28 days means you are five times more likely to be able to quit for good.
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.
Since 2012, Stoptober has led to more than 1.5 million quit attempts in the UK.
Why is smoking bad for us?
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 including coronary heart disease.
It’s known as the leading cause of lung cancer and can lead to increased risk of oral, esophageal, pancreatic and bladder cancers.
According to statistics from the British Dental Association (BDA), oral cancers are some of the most preventable types of cancer, and over 90% of all oral cancer cases could be avoided.
At Honour Health, during our dental health assessments, we always check for any signs of oral cancer.
Three reasons to give up smoking:
- Feel healthier. No matter how long you’ve been a smoker, giving up can help improve your health straight away.
- Save money. Smoking is expensive! If you smoke a packet of cigarettes a day, you will be paying out around £250 per month. If you give up, you’ll have a lot more money in your pocket.
- Protect your family. Giving up smoking helps protect your loved ones from harmful second hand smoke, reducing their risk of developing asthma, meningitis and some cancers.
What help is available?
There are a number of ways to give up smoking. The British Heart Foundation recommends picking a firm ‘stopping smoking’ date, making a list of reasons to give up smoking, and building a support network to assist in giving up smoking.
It also recommends getting rid of any reminders of smoking ahead of a target quitting date such as lighters and ashtrays, using specialists to assist in quitting, and avoiding ‘trigger situations’ that induce stress and trigger the urge to smoke.
There’s lots of support available, including the Stoptober app, support through Facebook messenger, your local Stop Smoking Service, and different aids such as medicines and e-cigarettes. Find out more on the Stoptober website.
Stopping smoking is the best thing you can do for your own health – and the health of people around you. It’s never too late to stop smoking. To join thousands of others taking up the challenge of giving up smoking, visit the Stoptober website and find the right support for you.