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Stoptober 2015: FAQs

WebMD UK Health News
Medically Reviewed by Dr Sheena Meredith

28th September 2015 -- Smokers wanting to quit will have one of their best opportunities of the year this week.

It is the start of the annual 'Stoptober' campaign.

Get the latest on this mass attempt to get the nation's smokers to kick the habit with our FAQs.

What is Stoptober?

Stoptober is an annual NHS campaign to persuade people to stop smoking during the month of October.

Smokers are encouraged to sign up online using their name, address and email to access support over 28 days.

Stoptober, which was launched in 2012, is run by Public Health England.

Does it work?

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that in 2013, 18.7% of adults in the UK smoked - a drop from 19.8% in 2012.

It said the only statistically significant change came in England, with the rate falling from 19.5% in 2012 to 18.4% in 2013 - a fall of 1.1%

Following last year's Stoptober, Public Health England said latest indications suggested that smoking rates had continued to fall in 2014.

Last year, more than a quarter of a million people registered for Stoptober. Those who joined the campaign and did not smoke for 28 days were 5 times more likely to remain smoke free than those who did not, according to the organisers.

Research shows that:

  • Smokers are 67% more likely to quit when their spouse stops smoking
  • Smokers are 36% more likely to stop smoking when a close friend quits
  • Smokers are 34% more likely to quit when someone they work with stops smoking.

What's happening in Stoptober this year?

For the second year running, Stoptober will have a humorous theme.

Anyone registering their interest can expect to be bombarded with texts and emails from Bill Bailey, Rhod Gilbert, Al Murray and Shappi Khorsandi.

Why should I join in?

Although smoking rates have declined over past decades, smoking is still the biggest cause of preventable illness and premature deaths in the country - accounting for almost 80,000 deaths in England a year, according to Public Health England.

One in every 2 long-term smokers will die prematurely from a smoking related disease unless they quit.

Comedian Rhod Gilbert is supporting Stoptober as he smoked himself for 25 years, and spent 23 of those years trying to quit. "I know first hand that it can be hard to find the motivation to quit, but Stoptober is the perfect time to give it a go," he says.

Reviewed on September 28, 2015

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