29/10/2013 - Permalink

Stoptober challenge reaches new high as country’s biggest mass quit attempt

Related topics: Health

News from our partners Public Health England

In the West Midlands region (including Shropshire) 23,579 smokers joined a quarter of a million people across the nation turning their back on cigarettes this month in the mass 28-day stop smoking challenge, Stoptober.

Research shows that stopping smoking for 28 days can extend your life by up to one week if you remain smokefree.  The new ex-smokers across the West Midlands are therefore celebrating their first steps towards a healthier, smokefree life, and if they succeed in quitting for good, they could collectively add as much as 453 years of life to the population.

However, by taking part in Stoptober, it is not just the health benefits that have been reaped:

  • The average smoker has 13 cigarettes a day, which equates to 364 cigarettes every four weeks.  Stoptober would have saved them £141 each over four weeks, and if they remain smokefree, they could save £423 by Christmas and £1,696 in a year. Collectively, if all Stoptober participants in the West Midlands quit for the 28 days this month they would have saved over £3,324,639. 
  • With the average cigarette taking approximately 4 minutes to smoke, this Stoptober could have saved the average smoker over 24 hours by not smoking; and cumulatively the nation’s Stoptober participants would have gained over 680 years in spare time .

Backed by a huge number of supporters – including celebrities, charities, sports clubs and stop smoking services – Stoptober has helped thousands of people try and stay free from cigarettes through support packs, a 28-day app, social media activities and tips and advice from a host of celebrity well-wishers. 

Actress and singer Kelsey-Beth Crossley took on the 28-day stop smoking challenge to improve her health and protect her singing voice.

Commenting on her quit attempt, Kelsey-Beth Crossley said:

“I did find the 28 days a real challenge – especially to begin with – but knowing so many other people were going through the same thing was really motivating and encouraging. Well done to everyone who has managed to get through 28 days smokefree – long may it continue and good luck for the future.”

Dr Lola Abudu, consultant in public health for PHE West Midlands, said:

“Stopping smoking can lead to huge improvements in short- and long-term health, so well done to the thousands of people across the West Midlands who took part in the 28-day quit smoking challenge.

“If you didn’t manage to stop smoking for the full month, don’t lose heart and do try again. There are many NHS stop smoking support services out there to help you give up.”

Stoptober started on 1 October 2013 and runs for 28 days.  Research shows that those who stop smoking for 28 days are five times more likely to stay smokefree.  Last year saw over 160,000 people successfully complete the four-week challenge.

It is not too late to start your own 28-day challenge – for more information and to download the Stoptober app visit www.stoptober.smokefree.nhs.uk.

Further information

Stoptober started on 1 October 2013 and ran for 28 days, and included TV and outdoor advertising, digital activity, posters, cards and in-pharmacy literature, roadshows and national and regional PR. 

  1. Commentary from charitable partners is also available. 
  2. Public Health England’s mission is to protect and improve the nation’s health and to address inequalities through working with national and local government, the NHS, industry and the voluntary and community sector.  PHE is an operationally autonomous executive agency of the Department of Health.  For more information on PHE visit www.gov.uk/phe or follow us on Twitter @PHE_uk. 
  3. For more information on the biggest stop smoking challenge of its kind, search ‘Stoptober’ online.  University of Toronto: 21st Century Hazards of Smoking and Benefits of Cessation in the United States. http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsa1211128#t=article.