For another year, a focus on quitting smoking swept the nation with the Stoptober campaign. This is a 28 day long event run each October during which smokers are inspired to stop smoking.
There is always a considerable amount of buzz on the run up to Stoptober, encouraging and supporting smokers across the UK to sign up. Stoptober events include focusing on celebrities who are taking part to rouse the UK to stand together to quit smoking and enjoy the numerous benefits of a smoke-free lifestyle.
Coronation Street actress Kym Marsh supported this year’s campaign as she has not only given up smoking, but she also encouraged her teenage daughter to swap smoking for vaping as well. Vaping uses an e-cigarette to allow you to inhale nicotine through vapour rather than smoke. E-cigarettes are a great way to help buck nicotine cravings at the fraction of the health risk of cigarettes.
The idea behind Stoptober is based the evidence that after twenty eight days without a cigarette, smokers are as much as five times more likely to give up smoking permanently.
It is easy to see why Stoptober offers such a winning formula. Giving up smoking can be a huge challenge, but there is an immense amount of support available during and after the campaign from sources including:
- The NHS
- Friends and family
- The Stoptober mobile app
- Stoptober emails
- Social media group encouragement
- The collective boost of other participants
This year’s campaign highlighted that vaping is now the most popular method of stopping smoking, with 53%of people using e-cigarettes to try and quit smoking.
For the first time, vaping officially featured within the NHS Stoptober campaign, including the Stoptober TV advertisement.
Following this advocacy from the NHS, Vape Club reported that they have seen e-cigarette starter kit sales increase by 37% year on year.
Director of Vape Club Dan Marchant says that this medical acceptance has provided a pivotal moment for public health in relation to vaping:
‘It’s fantastic to see the NHS finally backing vaping as a pathway to quit smoking.
The industry has been backing this alternative for a long time, but with the evidence provided by Public Health England, endorsements from the likes of Cancer Research UK and the figures which are produced by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), there can be no doubt that vaping is the most effective method to give up tobacco.
The NHS advocating vaping as an alternative to tobacco is an enormous breakthrough and will do an outstanding amount of good for public health and tobacco control in the UK.’
E-cigarettes are believed to be 95% less harmful than traditional tobacco and are officially included within the NHS’ Stoptober campaign as a way of gently phasing out tobacco. This is deemed much more realistic as opposed to the ‘cold turkey’ approach.
Through the adoption of this harm reduction strategy, the UK is fast becoming the European leader with success rates for quitting smoking at an all time high.
E-cigarettes are particularly powerful when combined with support from stop smoking services. People who choose to vape have some of the highest quitting success rates. E-cigarettes aren’t currently available on NHS prescription, but they can be bought in shops and online.
The yearly success of the Stoptober campaign is morale boosting. However, you don’t need a campaign to stop smoking. If you would like to quit you can set your own timeline, for example by trying to stop smoking before Christmas or the New Year. The key is that an event boosts your willpower – finding a reason to give up will always be advantageous.