Stoptober 2018 - Why Should You Quit Smoking? Read On...
12th September 2018
StoptoberWe are less than 3 weeks until the beginning of the annual Public Health England (PHE) stop smoking campaign ‘Stoptober’. The campaign kicks off each year on 1 October and runs for a total of 28 days, coming to a close on 28 October. According to Cancer Research UK, tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death in the world, responsible for at least 16 different types of cancer. A 28 day window for smokers to abstain was chosen primarily due to the fact past research indicates that those who last the 28 days are then 5 times more likely to quit smoking for good, reaping numerous health benefits from doing so. Evidence also shows that ‘social quitting’ i.e. deciding to quit with others, can help increase the likelihood of quitting for good. The Stoptober campaign is great at offering the support and resources to allow people to achieve this. In fact, there is simply no better time to ditch cigarettes than right now. The packaging alone is off-putting to some after the introduction of plain standardised boxes, quitting success rates have never been higher and e-cigarettes – which some find helpful in their quest to stop smoking - are more regulated nowadays to help ensure safety and efficacy. During the 28 days of Stoptober, there is a plenty of support available for those taking part, including the Stoptober mobile app, support via Facebook, your local Stop Smoking Service, and other tried and tested aids to help such as stop smoking medication and e-cigarettes. Find out more today on the Stoptober website. Simply put, Stoptober is one of the best and health-boosting campaigns you could wish to become involved in, as stopping smoking is possible the best thing you can do for your own health and of those around you. After all, do not underestimate the huge negative impact of second-hand smoke to your loved ones who are in regular close proximity to you.  

Why is smoking bad for me?

Well, the answer is that tobacco comprises of over 5,000 chemicals that include tar and nicotine. Smokers may want the feeling of the nicotine, but are then harmed by the tar. It is believed around 70 of those chemicals can cause cancer; an alarming statistic. Every time you smoke, the chemicals enter the lungs and through the lungs, are transported elsewhere around the body. Therefore, it may not be a shock to learn that on average, smokers live 10 years less than non-smokers.  

No safe tobacco!

Some important facts:
  • Smoking cigars and pipes is just as damaging for you as smoking cigarettes.
  • Roll-up tobacco smoke has the same chemicals as manufactured cigarette smoke. Roll-ups are usually produced without filters, making them more toxic than regular cigarettes.
  • Shisha smoking, or ‘hookah’ or ‘waterpipe’, contains tobacco. The smoke may pass through water, but unfortunately this fun post night-out habit is as harmful as normal cigarette smoke.
  • Smokeless tobacco - tobacco that is chewed or sucked – is also highly addictive and harmful.

Are e-cigarettes better for me?

E-cigarettes allow users to receive the nicotine they may desire bur unlike tobacco smoke, their vapour does not include the toxic tar. Until further studies are carried out, there is not enough available data about their effects on health. However, many health experts argue that e-cigarettes are probably just causing 5% of the harm of smoking and may be a useful aid in eventually stopping smoking altogether.  

Why should I quit smoking?

There are countless reasons to quit. You’ll be improving the health of yourself and those around you, you’ll look better, live longer, and suddenly find you have a lot more money than before! Many smokers – especially longer term ones than began earlier in life – argue it is too late for them to stop, or say “what is the point now?” This is a wrong outlook to have. It’s never too late to stop, regardless of age. Even if you decided to eventually quit whilst in your 60s, your lungs will begin to work better and you will feel better for it. Your friends and family will benefit from you quitting smoking and be healthier too. As highlighted earlier, those people inhaling second-hand smoke are also at risk of the same diseases that smokers are at risk of. Babies and children are especially at risk as their lungs are not fully formed and will breathe more rapidly as a result. Finally, let’s not forget just how expense a habit smoking actually is. The Government increase taxes on tobacco and cigarettes every year. The average of a pack of 20 cigarettes now stands at £10.40. For a 20 a day smoker, that would cost around £312 per month and £3,744 per year! These are staggering statistics, and we at Medical Specialists can’t help but wonder if this money would be better spent elsewhere. A family of 3 would be able to afford 2 holidays per year with the extra £3,744, and at least at half-board!

National stop-smoking helplines and websites

Calls to these helplines are free from a landline, but not from a mobile phone. England 0300 123 1044 Lines are open daily, 9am to 8pm weekdays and 11am to 4pm at the weekend. Scotland 0800 84 84 84 Lines are open daily, 8am to 10pm. Wales 0800 085 2219 Lines are open Monday to Thursday, 8am to 8pm, Friday 8am to 5pm and Saturday 9am to 4pm. Northern Ireland For advice or to find your local stop-smoking service visit or text ‘Quit’ to 70004. Go smokefree with your mobile phone If you have an Android phone, iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, you can download the free NHS Smokefree app. It’s a four week programme that puts practical support, encouragement and tailored advice in the palm of your hand. Find out more Action on Smoking and Health (ASH)