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by James Thomas, Tuesday, October 10, 2017 | Categories: Smoking

Quitting Smoking for Stoptober?

The 1st of October sees the launch of Stoptober, the annual public health campaign, which encourages people to give up smoking for the duration of October. It is hoped that having gone a whole month without a cigarette, or other tobacco products, people taking part will find it much easier to give up for good. Research suggests that individuals who go 28 days without smoking are around five more times likely to be successful.

The Stoptober Campaign

The Stoptober campaign aims to ride this wave of success by encouraging people to give quitting a go via social media, apps, TV campaigns and radio (Talksport). Quitting tobacco for good can be a challenge. However, Stoptober allows those taking part to access lots of advice and support on the OneYou page which will help to give you the best chance of success. The campaign will also send out support via email and text message to those who have signed up to take on the challenge, to encourage them to keep on quitting. It is believed that since the first Stoptober in 2012, the increasing use of social media and the support of celebrities have inspired over 1.5 million people to try and quit smoking.

Research from University College London found that smokers are increasingly beating their addictions, with record-breaking numbers of people quitting for good in the first half of 2017. The researchers reported that the rate of successful attempts to quit was now at 19.8% - above the 15.7% average for the last 10 years. This increase is thought to be a result of the introduction of plain cigarette packaging, the growing use of e-cigarettes and increased restrictions on where and when people can light up.

The Impact of Smoking on Your Health

Despite the fact that tobacco use is the single leading cause of preventable diseases and premature deaths, there are still around 7 million smokers in the UK. It is estimated that over one hundred thousand people die of smoking relating illnesses every year across the UK. Tobacco use increases your risk of developing cancer of the lung, tongue, throat and stomach. Smoking also causes the arteries in your body to narrow, which increases your blood pressure and the chance of stroke. Smokers are also at an increased risk of heart trouble and problems with their breathing. However, quitting can help your body to repair some of the damage caused by the toxins contained in tobacco smoke, and can help to reduce the risk you will experience one of these health problems.

Ways to Quit Smoking

If you don’t think you can manage to go cold turkey when quitting, nicotine replacement therapy may be the answer. The cravings you feel when you go without tobacco are caused by reduced levels of nicotine in your body. It is often these cravings that cause people to give in and start smoking again.

However, nicotine replacement treatments (NRT) such as nicotine gum, patches or lozenges can help to stop cravings by giving your body a small amount of nicotine. Over time, you can gradually reduce the strength of the NRT you are using until you are completely free of your addiction. For the first time, Stoptober is also recommending electronic cigarettes as a way to combat your craving for nicotine, pointing out that this method only carries a fraction of the risk posed by cigarettes.

Sheila Mitchell, Public Health England marketing director said: "There are now more ways to quit smoking than ever before, but e-cigarettes stand out as the most popular method, with half of all those taking part in Stoptober last year using one. For this reason, the Stoptober campaign, most notably the TV ad, clearly position e-cigarettes as a quitting aid."

How to Get Involved

Getting involved is easy. You just need to visit the Stoptober site to sign up. Once you have signed up, you can sit back and wait for your support pack and further information to arrive. Then, on 1st October, put down your cigarettes and look forward to the healthy life which awaits you.

If you would like further advice and information about treatments, which will help you to quit smoking for good, visit The Online Clinic today.

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