THE STOPTOBER campaign was launched on Monday 9 September 2013, by Dr Ruth Hussey, Chief Medical Officer for Wales, to get smokers ready to quit on Tuesday 1 October 2013.
Stoptober was first introduced in England in October 2012, as the first mass attempt to encourage people to try to give up smoking for 28 days.
The 28 day period was chosen as evidence suggests you are 5 times more likely to stay quit if you stop smoking for 4 weeks.
Smokers who are able to stop for 28 days and longer will experience financial, physical and health benefits including better sense of taste and smell and a reduced risk of lung cancer and heart disease.
Last year, over 160,000 people in England successfully quit smoking for Stoptober, thanks to the wide range of support on offer.
This year, people living in Wales will also be able to get involved in Stoptober. Those taking part will receive a detailed 28-day step-by-step programme to support them in their attempt to quit.
Cwm Taf Health Board is pleased to support this year’s campaign.
The health board’s director of public health, Nicola John said: “The most important thing people can do for their health is to quit smoking, as smoking is still the biggest cause of ill health and early death.
While smoking rates are falling, one in four of our population still smoke, and Stoptober can offer support to those wishing to quit”.
Smokers who want to be involved in Stoptober, need to register for their quit pack on the Stoptober website (www.smokefree.nhs.uk/stoptober), before October 1st.
Lots of free support will be available, including:
• a Stoptober quit pack;
• tested tools and tips that really work;
• a support app;
• encouragement from thousands of people taking part in the challenge on Facebook and Twitter; and
• sign-posting to local stop smoking services.
Many local pharmacies, GPs, local businesses and community organisations will also be promoting Stoptober.
• The Tobacco Control Action Plan for Wales aims to drive down smoking levels to 16 per cent by 2020 with an ultimate vision of a smoke free Society for Wales, in which the harm from tobacco is completely eradicated
• Whilst 69% of smokers tell us they want to quit, only 38% actually make an attempt
• Smoking continues to be the leading cause of ill health and premature death in Wales, causing around 5,500 deaths each year.