Stoptober: Is October your time to quit smoking?
How can Stoptober help you this October?
Did you know that if you quit smoking for just 28 days, you are 5 times more likely to quit for good?
Although smoking rates have declined in recent years, the Office for National Statistics report that 15.1% of adults aged over 18 years in the UK are still smoking.
Smoking accounts for nearly half a million hospital admissions every year and is the leading cause of preventable death in the UK, with as many as 80,000 deaths each year due to smoking-related causes.
We all know that smoking comes with a long list of health risks, but it doesn’t hurt to have a gentle reminder now and then.
Smoking is responsible for 90% of lung cancers and is thought to increase the risk of developing at least 14 other types of cancer. It significantly increases the risk of developing chronic conditions such as coronary heart disease, stroke and coronary obstructive pulmonary disease, and may also have an impact on fertility. Not to mention the bad breath, teeth and gum staining as well as skin ageing that comes hand-in-hand with smoking. The list goes on.
Smoking is also an expensive habit. With the government in full backing of a smoke-free generation, the high duty tax on cigarettes means that smoking can be a burden on those purse-strings as well. You can now expect to pay around £10 for a packet of cigarettes in the UK – for those smoking 20 a day, that’s a yearly spending of around £3650!
Is now the time to quit?
For the month of October, Public Health England has launched its Stoptober campaign for its 7th year, in a bid to encourage people to stub out those cigarettes and work towards a tobacco-free generation by 2025.
Stoptober is a 28-day smoke free challenge, encouraging people to kick the habit for the month of October, with the aim of quitting the habit in the long-term. Statistics have shown that those who stop smoking for 28 days are 5 times more likely to stay smoke free – so Stoptober could be your answer to quitting success!
Signing up to the campaign gives users free access to a plethora of resources including the Stoptober pack, access to a mobile phone app and daily supportive texts and emails.
Local pharmacists and GPs are also onboard with the campaign, offering support to people on their quitting journey. Friends, families and employers are being encouraged to get onboard with the campaign to help those wanting to quit achieve their goal.
What are the benefits of quitting?
As little 48 hours after stopping smoking, people may already start to feel healthier – there is no longer any nicotine in the body and things may start to smell and taste better.
Within 1 to 9 months of quitting, symptoms associated with smoking such as coughing, and shortness of breath often subside and after 12 months, the risk of a heart attack reduces by half.
In the long-term, quitting smoking can also have a significant impact on mental health – with improvements seen in depression, anxiety and stress.
By quitting smoking you can also protect your friends and loved-ones from exposure to second hand smoke. People exposed to second hand smoke are at risk of developing the same conditions as smokers and passive smoking has shown to increase the risk of conditions such as meningitis, cancer, bronchitis and pneumonia.
Children and babies are particularly vulnerable to the effects of second-hand smoke, as their lungs, airways and immune systems are less developed. Pregnant women exposed to passive smoke are more prone to premature birth and babies are at a higher risk of low birthweight and cot death.
The NHS has developed a handy cost calculator tool to help you calculate how much money you will save by quitting smoking – boosting the incentive to quit for good!
The idea of quitting can be daunting, but Stoptober will support you to take it one day at a time – will you be joining the thousands of others taking part in Stoptober on October 1st?!
Here at ZoomDoc we understand quitting the habit can be tough, but our great GPs are here to support you through your quitting journey!
Download our app today and contact one of our GPs within minutes – we are here to support you every step of the way!