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Government Touts Switching for Stoptober

“95% of ex-smokers see positive changes soon after quitting”, says the government as it encourages switching to vaping for Stoptober

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The Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England, and Neil O'Brien MP have announced that Stoptober is back and are collectively calling on smokers “to join the thousands of others committing to quit from 1 October”. It comes as a new nationwide study was released showing that nearly all (95%) ex-smokers see positive changes in their life as early as 2 weeks after quitting.

Key facts for Stoptober:

  • New research reveals smokers can expect positive changes as soon as 2 weeks after quitting, including having more energy (45%), feeling healthier (42%) and improved breathing (42%)
  • Data announced as the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities’ (OHID) national quit smoking campaign, Stoptober, returns to encourage smokers to quit this October and highlights both the immediate benefits and longer-terms gains ex-smokers can expect
  • Smoking remains the single biggest cause of preventable illness and death in England with over 5 million people in the country still smoking
  • The Stoptober campaign is supported by TV stars and ex-smokers Bobby Norris and Malin Andersson

The Department of Health says Stoptober’s mass quit attempt will launch on 1 October, and is calling on smokers in England to join the thousands of others committing to quit.

It says: “While smoking rates are declining, over 5 million adults in England still smoke and smoking remains the single biggest cause of preventable illness and death in the country - linked to 64,000 deaths a year. The total cost from smoking to society in England is approximately £17 billion a year - this includes the cost to the NHS of treating diseases caused by smoking at approximately £1.9 billion a year.”

The Department says this supports the government’s bold new measures - such as the ‘Swap-to-Stop’ scheme and financial incentives for all pregnant women who smoke to quit – “to help us achieve our bold ambition to be Smokefree by 2030.”

New data from more than 3,000 ex-smokers, found some of the top benefits they saw within 2 weeks of quitting included having more energy (45%), feeling healthier (42%) and breathing better (42%). In addition to key improvements in health measures, many survey respondents also noted improvement in their ability to exercise (22%), healthier looking skin (24%), their sense of taste returning (25%), and saving money (34%). On average, a smoker could save £38 a week by quitting smoking, which is around £2,000 a year.

These findings reinforce the near-immediate improvements smokers can expect when they quit - including improvements to senses of taste and smell within as little as 48 hours.

NHS doctor, Dr Dawn Harper, said: “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. Quitting is one of the best things a smoker can do for their health, and kick starts 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. So why not give it a shot this Stoptober?

“Stopping smoking also brings multiple long-term health benefits, including a reduced risk of several cancers and lung diseases. Just one year after quitting, the risk of a heart attack is halved and after 10 years, the risk of death from lung cancer falls to half that of a smoker.”

Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England, Dr Jeanelle de Gruchy, said: “Over the past 12 years Stoptober has helped over 2 and a half million people quit. However, while smoking rates are in decline, there are over 5 million adults in England who still smoke, so it’s vital we support everyone to go smoke free. Quitting will improve your health whatever your age and no matter how long you have smoked. It’s never too late to stop. I encourage you to give it a go.”

Health Minister, Neil O’Brien, said: “Smoking is the single biggest cause of preventable illness and death. When people quit smoking, the benefits are huge - they are healthier, wealthier and pressure on the NHS eases.

“Stoptober will motivate thousands to quit smoking this October by providing people with the support and confidence to go smoke free.

“We remain committed to our bold ambition to be smoke free by 2030, bolstered by a package of new measures giving vapes to a million smokers, new financial incentives for pregnant women to quit and new pack inserts to provide support to people to quit.

Stoptober is based on evidence showing that if you can make it to 28 days smoke free, you’re 5 times more likely to quit for good. This year’s new campaign - ‘When you stop smoking, good things start to happen’ - is designed to highlight the immediate benefits smokers can expect when they stop smoking.”

Ex-smokers The Only Way Is Essex star Bobby Norris and Love Island’s Malin Andersson are joining the campaign this year to tell their stories of how they quit successfully and encourage others to also give quitting a go.


Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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