Stoptober is back – make it your month to quit 

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Stoptober is back for its 10th year calling on smokers to kick the habit once and for all and join 2.3 million others who all quit since the campaign launched a decade ago.  

Supporting the campaign, Somerset County Council is encouraging Somerset smokers to seek support and join thousands of others across the country who have signed up to stop smoking this October.

Over 6 million adults in England still smoke, and it remains the leading cause of premature death, with almost 75,000 preventable deaths a year. A new nationwide survey of 2,000 current smokers released today has found that nearly half (45%) have been smoking more since the first lockdown began.  

Key reasons reported are being bored in the lockdowns (43%) or the pandemic making them more anxious (42%). What’s more, data from the monthly UCL Smoking Toolkit Study indicates a large increase in smoking among the under-35s since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, up from 18% in 2019 to 24%.  

As a result of increased smoking behaviours, this year’s Stoptober mass quit attempt is more important than ever, with quitting remaining one of the best things a smoker can do for their health.  

That’s why this year’s Stoptober campaign is encouraging smokers to join the thousands of others who are giving quitting a go for the month of October and sign up to experience the benefits of giving up smoking. These include being able to move better, breathe more easily and save money.  

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.

The Personal Quit Plan helps people find a combination of support that’s right for them, including expert support from local Stop Smoking Services and stop smoking aids. 

Our local stop smoking service, Smokefreelife Somerset (SFLS), offers a free stop smoking service supporting Somerset residents to become smoke free. 

Getting the right support can boost your chances of success by up to 4 times -Smokefreelife Somerset offer a 12-week treatment programme which focuses on supporting behaviour change. Quit Coaches are also available as part of the programme to advise on the use of licensed stop smoking medications to ease nicotine withdrawal, who may supply these products if appropriate. 

Councillor Clare Paul, Somerset County Council’s member for health and wellbeing, said: “Giving up smoking is one of the kindest things you can do for your health. Smoking is one of the largest causes of illness and death – there are many health benefits of quitting smoking.”  

“I would encourage anyone who smokes to take this opportunity to join the many other people in Somerset who are taking part in Stoptober and make this their year to quit.”