Try the Stoptober challenge

Try the Stoptober challenge

Stoptober - England’s mass 28 day stop smoking attempt - is back for its fourth year and aiming to beat its huge success last year which saw over 250,000 people across the country complete the challenge.

New research shows that many extra years of life can be gained by giving up smoking and staying smokefree. Someone who quits smoking for Stoptober, and doesn’t smoke again, could gain an extra seven days of life, every 28 days, for the rest of their life. 

Stoptober 2015 starts on Tuesday 1st October and runs for 28 days. For more information and to join the biggest stop smoking challenge of its kind, search ‘Stoptober’ online or visit

This year, Stoptober will be providing quitters with a personal touch from some of the nation’s leading comedians – Bill Bailey, Rhod Gilbert, Al Murray and Shappi Khorsandi. Messages of support and encouragement will be sent straight to quitters’ phones and emails throughout October.

And to stand an even better chance of quitting, local people are encouraged to sign up with their friends, family and colleagues, as evidence reveals that this type of ‘social quitting’ can dramatically improve people’s chances of successfully stopping.

Research shows that smokers are two thirds (67%) more likely to quit when their spouse stops smoking, and a third more likely to quit when a close friend (36%) or someone they work with (34%) stops. The data also shows that individuals are much more likely (61%) to smoke if their partner or a close friend smokes – showing the powerful influence that people’s social networks have on their own smoking behaviour.

Neil Wood, Health and Wellbeing Manager for PHE East of England said: “We know that giving up smoking is no mean feat and although some people do manage it by themselves, many more need support and guidance. This is the whole ethos of Stoptober – encouragement and support during a challenging yet hopefully rewarding time. 

“By signing up to Stoptober, there are a range of free support tools available including daily emails and text messages from the comedians throughout the 28 day quit attempt as well as a mobile phone app which includes lots more tips and advice. There is also local Stop Smoking service in Hertfordshire which is another resource for smokers to tap into.”

Rhod Gilbert who is supporting this year’s campaign says: “I smoked for about 25 years and probably spent 23 of those trying to quit, trying everything you can think of to kick the habit. I know first hand that it can be hard to find the motivation to quit, but Stoptober is the perfect time to give it a go. Not only will you be joining thousands of others taking part, you’ll also have exclusive support from myself, Bill Bailey, Shappi Khorsandi and the Pub Landlord, as well as access to lots of other help along the way.  My advice to those taking on Stoptober would be to take the 28 days one day at a time."

Hertfordshire Stop Smoking Service can also help support those smokers taking part by providing access to medication (e.g. patches, gum) that makes it easier to go smokefree. For more information on your nearest service call 0800 389 3998 or text ‘Quit’ to 80818.