It’s that time of year again, the beginning of the UK’s Stoptober campaign where smokers are encouraged to kick the habit for the next four weeks. The event is sponsored by the National Health Service (NHS) and Public Health England (PHE). And the goal is to remain smoke-free for a full 28-days in a row, because, according to the Brits, if you can quit for 28-days, then you are five times more likely to stay smoke-free permanently.
So many people, whether they are addicted to smoking, shopping, or sex, have the most difficult time overcoming their addictions because the very thought of going without their favorite vice for the rest of their lives seems an impossibility of the highest magnitude. The idea behind the Stoptober campaign is to quit worrying about “the rest of your life.” Just focus on the next 28-days, one day at a time. It’s like the old saying goes – “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”
Stoptober success stories
The first Stoptober campaign took place in October of 2012, and it’s estimated that over 2.5 million smokers took part last year. The NHS promotes the event through a steady stream of television, radio, and social media advertisements with many of Britain’s top celebrities joining in the fun to show their support. Now the movement is crossing the pond to other countries, including Canada, Australia, and even the United States.
“Last year, out of the 2.5 million smokers who made a quit attempt, 500,000 people (20%) were successful; the highest recorded success rate and up from just 13.6% 6 years ago. In England there are now twice as many ex-smokers (14.6 million people), than current smokers (7.2 million).” – Public Health England
How to get involved with Stoptober
Stoptober participants are also encouraged to raise money for their favorite charities while undertaking the challenge. The organization has its own website where anyone can sign up and receive free tips, advice, motivational sayings, and other incentives to help them quit smoking. They even offer a variety of apps to help participants track and manage their progress.
Americans tend to view smoking as a nasty, dirty habit. But it’s not the same in European nations. For example, roughly five percent of British men smoke more than a pack of cigarettes a day, and some reports estimate that as many as seven percent of women in the UK smoke during pregnancy. Smoking is such a major health concern in Great Britain that the Ministry of Justice is considering banning smoking in all UK prisons simply because the government is spending so much money on smoking-related healthcare.
Regardless of your country of original, if you want to quit smoking (and perhaps start vaping), sign up for the Stoptober campaign today. It’s not too late to be smoke-free.
Article Credit: Matt Rowland