Stoptober – England and Wales…well done

well done animated

The nation’s biggest mass quit attempt saw more people than ever helping each other through to 28 days without smoking. Stoptober showed that it is easier to quit smoking in a group, with lots of support and lots of motivation.

Over 250,000 smokers across England and Wales stubbed out their cigarettes in October and took the 28-day stop smoking challenge from Public Health England (PHE)…and every smoker knows that 28 days without  cigarettes is an awesome accomplishment.

Stoptober ~ What a marvelous idea it was…well done England and Wales, well done~!

The latest data from the Office for National Statistics reveals that the number of smokers in England has hit a record low, with smokers now accounting for only 18.4% of the population in 2013, a drop of 1.1% compared to 2012. And according to UCL’s Smoking Toolkit Study, smoking rates are continuing to fall in 2014. Those who successfully took part in Stoptober and didn’t smoke for 28 days are now 5 times more likely to remain smoke free, contributing to the growing numbers of non-smokers nationwide.

Smokers from other countries also joined England and Wales in quitting this month, as Stoptober rolled into New Zealand and the Netherlands for the first time, so that people from all over the world stopped smoking together.

The nation showed its support

Stoptober has had greater support than ever before with well-known faces such as Duncan Bannatyne, Gemma Collins and Jenny Frost joining some of the nation’s top comedians, including Paddy McGuinness, Al Murray, Simon Brodkin (aka Lee Nelson) and Andi Osho, who helped people stay away from the cigarettes by providing motivational messages of support throughout the 28 days.

This year’s campaign had a comedy theme for the first time, to help smokers get through the difficult challenge of quitting, and over 250 organisations such as Asda and the British Army as well as football clubs and bloggers got thousands of people to stay smoke free for 28 days.

Kevin Fenton, National Director of Health and well-being at Public Health England said:

With more than 250,000 participants, it is fantastic to see that this year’s Stoptober has been so successful. Evidence shows the clear health benefits that giving up smoking provides, and that by quitting smoking people can make a huge difference to their long-term well being.

The success of mass-quit attempts, such as Stoptober, show that a tobacco-free generation is now within sight as more smokers stub out their cigarettes as part of a conscious decision to improve their health.

The press office of Public Health England gave me permission to post one of their articles on my little blog. I am flattered and thrilled “Thank you”. (Source and full article at Public Health England

I say it over and over again, don’t quit smoking alone if you don’t have to. I quit fairly easy all by myself, but reached out for support about a week later. I had too many questions and wanted to talk to others like me. Even though my husband was supportive, he still smoked and didn’t really understand what I was going through. The people at were great. The feeling, that I wasn’t alone when I struggled and the communications with other smokers and ex-smokers was very important at the start of my new life as a non-smoker.

I hope that other countries will pick up on movements like Stoptober. I think it was a great idea and it should be copied worldwide…what’s there to lose?

Todays daily prompt  Our ten-minute free-write is back for another round! Tap away on whatever comes to mind, no filters attached. (Feel free to edit later, or just publish as-is).



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