Have you signed up for Stoptober yet? Launched in 2012 and led by Public Health England’s One You campaign, to date almost one million smokers have signed up to the Stoptober challenge, which encourages smokers far and wide to ditch cigarettes for a period of 28 days in the hope that once the month is up, you would have forgotten all about your want to light up.
Whilst smoking cigarettes habitually may not seem like such a big deal on a day-to-day basis, the long-term impact and cost on our health and public services is significant. In 2015, there were estimated to be around 79,000 deaths in the UK attributed to smoking or smoking-related diseases, which accounted for 16% of all deaths that year.
Public Health England’s One You campaign, encourages people to make small changes to their life to improve their health; whether that’s eating more fresh fruit and vegetables, doing exercise or doing things like quitting smoking. The dedicated website to all things Stoptober provides a plethora of information, tools, and tricks to help support you throughout the month including an app available for download which will help monitor and track your progress throughout the month.
There are some great products on the market that you’ll GP will be able to provide you with, but have you thought about trying e-cigarettes? Declared by Public Health England to be up to 95% less harmful than smoking tobacco, e-cigarettes are fast-becoming the go-to device to help smokers quit with an estimated 2.9 million vapers already using e-cigarettes in the UK.
The tobacco-based cigarettes that you may be used to smoking are packed with thousands of chemicals that produce carbon monoxide and tar which you are essentially inhaling into your body’s every time you smoke – hence the tens of thousands of deaths attributed to smoking every year.
E-cigarettes use a rechargeable battery to power an atomiser that in turn heats a nicotine-based e-liquid until vapour forms, which the user then inhales to simulate the act of smoking. E-liquids are available in a number of traditional tobacco flavoured options as well as some fruitier concoctions, which abate any sugar cravings you may experience in your withdrawal from tobacco (tobacco contains up to 20% natural sugars). Additionally, e-liquid is available in a number of nicotine strength options which means that over the course of time you’ll be able to slowly reduce your nicotine levels completely.
Based on research that states that you’ll be five times more likely to stay smoke-free for good following 28 days without a cigarette, it’s important to remember that it’s still not too late to join thousands of others smokers attempting to quit this October. You’ll still be able to sign up to the Stoptober campaign throughout the month and gain the same kind of support whatever and whenever you need it.
By breaking the month into manageable chunks, you’ll find the time passing in a flash and before you know it you’ll be smoke-free! Stoptober aside, it’s never too late to attempt to stop smoking. It’s a tough challenge to take, but in hindsight, healthy new you will be forever grateful for your efforts, whenever they may be.
Stub it out this Stoptober.