Ian Wright is using everything in his arsenal to make Stoptober a success
If you have been paying close attention to the Medical Specialists Pharmacy website, you will be aware that yesterday saw the start of The Department of Health’s national anti-smoking campaign ‘Stoptober’, of which Medical Specialists is a proud supporter of. It will be running for 28 days, finishing on 28 October. This specific time period was chosen as it is believed that you are five times more likely to quit for good after abstaining for 28 days. The campaign is the first mass attempt at getting the nation’s 8 million smokers to kick the habit for good, mainly for the benefit of their health and those around them, and also to save the NHS millions of pounds each year. New Year’s Resolutions may be the only reason why many people try (and fail) to stop smoking, however why not get involved with Stoptober and join millions of people around the country in the fight against harmful cigarettes, improving your appearance, health and cash. However, you don’t need to just listen to us. The campaign is being backed by a whole host of celebrities including former Arsenal and England footballer Ian Wright, former Apprentice contestant Kate Walsh and leading makeup artist Gary Cockerill. Using their area of expertise, the trio will be providing motivation and support in helping smokers to quit. Other famous faces who are backing the campaign are Gordon Ramsay, Sharron Davies and Jeff Brazier. As well as expert advice from the celebrities, those looking to quit will also receive support via a Stoptober support pack, an app on their smartphone, and there has been a dedicated Facebook page setup for people to connect to each other and share their experiences. Stoptober mentor Ian Wright, like Medical Specialists, seems to understand the huge dangers of cigarettes and why smokers need to get on board with the campaign. He says, “Smoking is one of those habits that’s so easy to fall into but takes real focus and perseverance to get out of. Anyone who makes the effort to quit has my total respect. Stoptober is a great campaign because for many, willpower isn’t enough. Most people need that additional support to avoid slipping into bad habits or kidding themselves that having one won’t hurt. Soon they’re off again. The worst thing is that smoking gives you nothing and it is, literally, killing you, which is why I feel so strongly in backing those who are trying to quit. We all know people who’ve been smoking for 20 years and the damage this can cause to their health is huge. Who wouldn’t want to be able to run up the stairs, play more easily with their children or even put in a man of the match performance every week at football? I tried smoking myself when I was younger. Everybody did it. But I stopped after a few years. I was asthmatic so I knew it wasn’t for me. Loads of people smoked back then and it can’t have helped me. I found it hard to breathe in rooms full of smoke.” One very interesting point we note is that Wright mentions he suffers from asthma, joining other former and currently footballers who also suffer from the lung condition; including David Beckham and Paul Scholes. Hopefully if more asthmatic celebrities speak up about their asthma struggles, this may go some way to dispelling the stigma and feeling of embarrassment that is present in some people who suffer with the airway-constricting lung condition. Not only can smoking trigger asthma attacks, babies and children who are exposed to cigarette smoke are at a high risk of then developing asthma, a subject we covered way back in March. Adding to Wright’s comments about Stoptober was fellow anti-smoking advocate and mentor Gary Cockerill, who commented on just how smoking can ruin a person’s looks. He said, “Not many people realise how damaging smoking is for skin, hair and teeth. It causes premature aging, yellowing of the teeth and brittle and smelly hair. I'll be providing some top insider beauty tips and advice on how to improve ‘smoker's skin' and minimise the harmful effects smoking has to our looks.” For part of his involvement with the Stoptober challenge, Wright has agreed to mentor and provide support for one of three ‘superquitters’, together with Walsh and Cockerill who are also doing the same for two other superquitters. Wright is backing 29-year-old Emergy Godden from Liverpool, who remarkably has been smoking ever since she was 14-years of age. Emergy wastes £40 every week on her smoking habit, which could be better spent on more important times in the midst of a double-dip recession. She says, “I want to stop smoking before I turn 30 next year. I’m well aware of the damage I’m doing to my body and know that making just this one change alone will make me much healthier.” For smokers out there who require some extra support in quitting, allow Medical Specialists to help you. We realise it may be asking a little too much for some people to completely go cold turkey for 28 days. However, we do have the smoking cessation medication Champix, which many argue is better at helping you to stop lighting up in comparison to nicotine patches. Champix is a prescription medication that works out from as little as just £75.00 per pack, an incredibly small price when it comes to your long-term health. Champix mimics the effect of nicotine on the body, reducing the urge to smoke and relieving withdrawal symptoms. It can also decrease the enjoyment you experience of smoking if you are still smoking whilst on the treatment.