Stoptober, the 28-day national stop smoking challenge, officially came to an end yesterday but successful quitters are being urged to stay smoke-free to continue reaping the benefits.
This year, more than 3500 people across Wales signed up to receive a quit pack for the October smoking challenge and Stop Smoking Wales is urging Stoptober quitters to stay quit as the health and financial benefits of a smoke-free life continue to mount.
Many of these benefits are tangible within weeks and those who have managed to kick the habit for the 28 days of Stoptober are now five times more likely to stop smoking for good. In that short timeframe, most quitters will have experienced a return to normal blood oxygen levels, an improved sense of taste and smell, easier breathing, higher energy levels and better blood circulation.
By staying quit, Stoptober quitters will not only be giving their bodies a boost, but their bank balances too. The average 12-a-day smoker in Wales spends £1752 a year – or over £144 a month – on cigarettes.
That means the average Stoptober quitter will have saved enough in one month to buy tickets to cheer on Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey and the rest of the team at all of Wales’ Euro 2016 group fixtures in France.
The average smoker in Wales who kicked the habit on October 1st will have saved £412 by Christmas – enough to buy nine of the ten toys on Hamley’s top ten Christmas toy list for 2015!
By July, the average saving will have totalled £1,460 – £132 more than the average band D council tax rate for Wales.
Those quitters who stay quit until August 2016 will not only have almost halved their risk of heart disease but they will also have saved more than enough for a trip from Cardiff to cheer on Welsh stars like Geraint Thomas, Jazz Carlin and Aled Davies at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, including flights, three nights’ accommodation and opening ceremony tickets!
The average Welsh smoker consumes 12 cigarettes-a-day. That equates to:
- 1 day smoke free: £4.80 – Two Welsh flags off Amazon
- 1 week smoke free: £33.60 – half a tank of petrol
- 1 month smoke free: £144 – A 22 Inch LED TV
- 1 year smoke free: £1752 – Olympic getaway in Brazil
- 10 years smoke free: £17,520 – A Skoda Fabia, WhatCar?’s 2015 car of the year, and a hot tub for the garden!
Ashley Gould, Consultant in Public Health at Public Health Wales, said: “We are extremely encouraged by the number people who signed up to take the Stoptober challenge in Wales this year and would like to congratulate all Stoptober quitters. While the month of Stoptober is finishing, free effective NHS support is available all year-round and we would urge smokers to get in touch, on 0800 085 2219, to start their journey to a smoke-free future.
“The savings from quitting cigarettes are significant, and could be used to enjoy some incredible events in the coming months. Along with the well-documented health benefits of quitting, there is plenty of incentive for people across Wales to kick the habit for good. To stand the very best chance of quitting I’d urge smokers to get in touch with Stop Smoking Wales. ”
Stop Smoking Wales is the NHS’s free smoking cessation service. It supports quitters in Wales through free face to face sessions, a telephone service and its innovative online tool at www.stopsmokingwales.com/online
. People who are interested in receiving free help that works, from Stop Smoking Wales should visit www.stopsmokingwales.com or call 0800 085 2219.