Department of Health and Social Care
Stoptober launches to give smokers the confidence to quit
Smoking remains the single biggest cause of preventable illness and death in England.
- Launch of Stoptober encourages thousands of smokers to quit the habit this October
- Smoking remains the single biggest cause of preventable illness and death in England
- People are five times more likely to quit for good if they can make it to at least 28 days smoke free
- A new film has been released featuring recent ex-smoker and Strictly Come Dancing star James Jordan exploring how quitters can gain the confidence to quit for good this Stoptober
Smokers in England are being urged to stub out the habit as part of the annual Stoptober public health campaign launching next month, as latest statistics show smoking costs the NHS £2.4bn a year while causing at least 15 types of cancers, including lung cancer and acute myeloid leukaemia.
Stoptober – now in its 11th year – aims to empower people to give up smoking during October, as evidence shows people are five times more likely to quit for good if they can make it to at least 28 days smoke free.
Research shows that self-confidence is a major factor in successful attempts at quitting smoking. This year’s campaign will encourage people to take simple steps to help build their confidence and get the support they need from family and friends, as well as professional help, to stop smoking for good.
Despite smoking rates declining, there are nearly six million adults in England who still smoke, and smoking remains the single biggest cause of preventable illness and death in England. According to estimates by Action on Smoking and Health, the annual costs of smoking to productivity are £13.2 billion; treating illnesses associated with smoking also costs the NHS £2.4bn a year, with the wider cost to society in England being approximately £17bn a year.
To help launch the campaign and encourage smokers to drop the habit, a film was recently (Saturday 24 September) released featuring former Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer James Jordan, who opens up about his recent journey to quit the habit, having smoked for 27 years. He speaks to ex-smoker and NHS psychiatrist, Dr Max Pemberton, and stop smoking professional, Louise Ross, about the importance of self-confidence when quitting smoking, as well as getting the right support.
Former Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer James Jordan recently said:
I consider myself a confident person in most areas of my life, but have always faltered with smoking, so thought I wouldn’t be able to quit. I smoked for 27 years. My quitting journey has shown me that I am more capable than I thought, thanks to the support of my own family and friends and the professional help I sought.
Quitting smoking can improve your health, quality of life and save you money. I am so glad I took this step and had the chance to speak to the brilliant experts to give myself and others the confidence that quitting smoking, even if you’ve been smoking for decades, is possible.
Most smokers say they want to quit, and latest statistics show more than a third of smokers (36.6%) tried to quit in the last 12 months.
Emeritus Professor Behaviour Scientist at UCL Prof. Robert West recently said:
What is really interesting is just how much of an impact self-efficacy, that sense of self-belief and confidence, has on quitting success. That confidence is something we can really help to influence. It really does show the power of the mind – self-belief when combined with other quitting aids such as vapes or NRT effectively equip people in giving up.
What people considering quitting this Stoptober should also bear in mind is that even if you’ve tried to quit before and not managed it, that doesn’t mean it won’t work this time. You will have learnt something from your previous attempts: think of each quit attempt as a stepping stone to becoming smoke free for life.”
Stopping smoking brings multiple benefits to health, some immediate and others that build over time. These include being able to breathe and move around more easily, a reduced risk of several cancers and financial benefits. Analysis from HM Revenue and Customs shows the average smoker is able to save around £2,000 a year when they quit.
Stoptober offers a range of free quitting tools including the NHS Quit Smoking app, Facebook online communities, daily emails and SMS, an online Personal Quit Plan, as well as advice on stop smoking aids, vaping to quit smoking and free expert support from local Stop Smoking Services.
Public Health and Mental Health Minister Dr Caroline Johnson recently said:
Smoking is extremely addictive and can have devastating health impacts in the long term. As a paediatrician, I have seen first-hand that smoking addiction usually begins in childhood, and once started it is very difficult to quit.
We are determined to support people to stub out the habit, so it is fantastic to see the return of Stoptober, equipping smokers with the tools and confidence they need to go smoke free.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England Dr Jeanelle de Gruchy recently said:
Smoking is a major cause of ill health, cancer and disability in England.
Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health, please give it a go this Stoptober.
NHS psychiatrist Dr Max Pemberton recently said:
As a doctor and an ex-smoker myself, I always urge my patients to quit smoking wherever possible as we know all too well how every cigarette smoked damages the lungs. I also know first-hand how much healthier and full of life I am after quitting now that my lungs have had a chance to clear.
What is of particular interest to me as a psychiatrist is how much of an impact individual confidence has on attempting to quit. I want to help everyone feel confident in their own ability to quit, feeling that they can access the vast amount of support out there, so they are set to give quitting smoking a shot this Stoptober.
For free support to quit this October, search ‘Stoptober’.
Notes to Editors:
- Stoptober is the annual campaign under OHID’s umbrella brand, ‘Better Health Let’s Do This’ that encourages smokers across the country to join in and give quitting a go for the month of October.
- The film featuring former Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer James Jordan, NHS psychiatrist Dr Max Pemberton and stop smoking professional Louise Ross is available here.
- Visit https://www.nhs.uk/better-health/quit-smoking to find out more on what support is available.
Latest News from
Department of Health and Social Care
Eligible people urged to get vaccinated as flu season officially under way25/11/2022 12:10:00
Flu cases have risen to levels not seen before Covid pandemic, with all eligible people now urged to come forward.
Record numbers of NHS doctors and nurses24/11/2022 16:05:00
A record number of doctors and nurses are now working in the NHS in England
GP practice data available for first time24/11/2022 15:05:00
Patients will have better choice of what GP practice they visit after data showing appointment waiting times is published for the first time today.
Consultation launched to protect patients from silent pandemic of antimicrobial resistance23/11/2022 13:10:00
New consultation launched to inform next stage of tackling antimicrobial resistance building on 20-year vision.
Independent review of Integrated Care Systems21/11/2022 10:10:10
Review will explore how best to cut through red-tape and boost efficiency, financial accountability and autonomy, with fewer national targets.
Health and Social Care Secretary: NHS Providers Conference18/11/2022 13:10:00
Speech given recently (16 November 2022) by Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay at the NHS Providers Conference in Liverpool.
Details of £500Million Discharge Fund17/11/2022 13:15:00
Details have been published of how the £500million Discharge Fund will be given to help free up hospital pressures and reduce strain on NHS.
Health and Social Care Secretary sets out key priorities ahead of winter16/11/2022 12:20:00
Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay will address the NHS workforce at the NHS Providers’ annual conference.