The 1st October sees the start of Stoptober, the annual quit smoking attempt which encourages smokers in England to join with thousands of others and give quitting smoking a go. The campaign is based on research that if you can quit for 28 days, you’re five times more likely to quit for good. 

A new survey from Stoptober found that nearly all ex-smokers see positive changes in their life as early as two weeks after quitting, including having more energy (45%), feeling healthier (42%) and breathing better (42%).

While smoking rates in England are declining, nearly 5 and a half million adults in the country still smoke and smoking remains the single biggest cause of preventable illness and death in the country - linked to 64,000 deaths a year. 

NHS doctor, Dr Dawn Harper, is throwing her weight behind the Stoptober campaign and shares insights on the key benefits of quitting:

What are the negative impacts smoking can have on our body and general health?

As a GP, I am always trying to encourage my patients to quit smoking as I know the detrimental impact it has on so many of our body’s systems.

But the good news is quitting is one of the best things a smoker can do for their health, and it will immediately kickstart a range of benefits from easier breathing to reduced coughing to better tasting food.

It will also put you on the road to long-term health benefits including reduced risk of heart attack and lung cancer. I really encourage smokers to give Stoptober a go, even if you’ve tried before and not been successful, this might just be your time.

So, why should you quit this October – what are the key benefits you’ll feel if you stop?

When you stop smoking, good things start to happen.

There are many benefits to quitting such as having more energy, feeling healthier, breathing better and having extra money in your pocket.  

As the new survey of ex-smokers found, nearly all (95%) saw positive changes in their life soon after quitting, and of those who noticed improvements, nearly one in three rated feeling healthier as the single best thing to happen to them since stopping smoking.

What about the financial impact of quitting – how much money will smokers save if they stop this month?

On average, smokers spend £38.59 a week on tobacco, meaning they could have around £2,000 more to spend a year by quitting.  Just think about what that could go towards.

Tell us a bit more about the Stoptober campaign – what is it and how is it aiming to help?

Stoptober provides the information and support people need to quit smoking for 28 days, based on evidence showing that if you can make it to 28 days smoke free, you're five times more likely to quit for good.

It’s easier to quit with support, so this Stoptober we are encouraging smokers to join the thousands of people who are taking on the challenge and look forward to having more energy, feeling healthier and breathing better. You can start by searching ‘Stoptober’ and visiting the NHS Better Health website.

How can the Stoptober campaign help smokers quit – what tools and advice are available?

Stoptober offers a range of free quitting tools including: the NHS Quit Smoking app; Facebook messenger bot; Stoptober Facebook online communities; daily emails and SMS, and an online Personal Quit Plan tool.

It provides information and advice on proven quitting methods, the range of stop smoking aids, including further information on quitting aides, and expert support from local Stop Smoking Services.

Using stop smoking aids really helps when quitting, along with telling your friends and family that you’re going to quit, and getting additional support from local stop smoking services, which boosts people’s chances of success by three times. GPs and pharmacists can also give advice and tips to help smokers quit. Do reach out for support and best of luck!

For free support to quit this October, search ‘Stoptober’.