Anti-smoking ‘Stoptober’ campaign to kick-off next month

A National stop smoking campaign funded by the Department of Health, and backed by both Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation, will get underway next month. The primary aim will be a huge attempt to encourage the nation’s 8 million smokers to stub out cigarettes and embrace the beneficial impacts that doing this can have on their lives.

The new initiative is the first of its kind and has been named ‘Stoptober’. It will begin on 1st October and last for a total of 28 days. The reasoning for this specific time period is because experts have claimed that if smokers stop for 28 days, they are actually five times more likely to completely quit forever.

The idea has seemingly come about after a realisation that people tend to quit smoking as part of their New Year’s Resolutions, quickly give-up, and then there is no motivation during the rest of the year to do anything similar. Martin Dockrell of ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) spoke about the scheme and said, “You get a surge of people quitting on New Year’s Day and in March on No Smoking day. But there’s nothing for the rest of the year.”

Maureen Talbot, Senior Cardiac Nurse at the British Heart Foundation released a media statement and spoke about why all smokers should get involved with Stoptober, saying, “Stopping smoking is the single best thing you can do for your own health as well as those you love and live with. Quitting also makes you look better by improving your skin and teeth and, of course, it helps your finances too.”

Any smoker who decides to accept the Stoptober challenge will be provided with a motivational kit that will give them daily encouragement as well as support in the way of television and radio advertising. There will also be roadshows taking place up and down the country which will give smokers the chance to get together and share their experiences during the four weeks.

In Britain it is estimated that 21% of adults smoke cigarettes and smoking is still the biggest cause of premature death in England, claiming roughly 100,000 lives each year. If more people finally decided to stop smoking for good then this would cause less heartache for families and less money wasted by the NHS at a time when their budgets are restrained by a government looking to reduce the countries deficit.

If you are a smoker and are considering giving the Stoptober challenge a go, here are some facts and statistics about smoking that may persuade you to commit to it:

. Tobacco contains approximately 50 chemicals that can be attributed to cancer.

. Smoking has been proven to be directly responsible for many types of cancer including mouth, lip, throat, lung, kidney, bladder, stomach, liver and cervix.

. Smoking accounts for 71% of all lung cancer deaths.

. Six million deaths around the globe are caused by smoking every year.

. Smokers are twice as likely to suffer from a heart attack in comparison to their non-smoking counterparts.

. In 2009 within the UK there were 102,000 fatalities due to smoking-related health conditions.

. Those with the willpower to finally quit can look forward to a physical boost such as a better sense of taste and smell, as well as a lot more energy.

Of course, not everybody will be able to successfully go ‘cold turkey’ for a stretch of 28 days. For the heavier smokers, this could be asking an awful lot of them to do. Other therapies that are worth considering include smoking cessation medication such as Champix which mimics the effects of nicotine on the body. Therefore, this medication simultaneously will decrease the urge you have to smoke and also relieve the withdrawal symptoms. It even manages to make the experience of smoking a less enjoyable one should you give-in to the cravings and decide to light up a cigarette.

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