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Stoptober: Everything you need to know about the annual 28-day challenge to stop smoking

‘The sooner you quit, the sooner you'll notice changes to your body and health,’ the NHS says

Antonia Molloy,Sabrina Barr
Friday 26 September 2014 12:47 BST
Smokers who abstain for 28 days are five times more likely to quit permanently
Smokers who abstain for 28 days are five times more likely to quit permanently (Getty Images)

For anyone who regularly smokes who has been thinking about stopping – this month may be your best chance to kick the habit for good.

The arrival of October marks the beginning of Stoptober, an annual campaign that encourages people to stop smoking for 28 consecutive days.

According to a report published by the government in September 2019, the Stoptober initiative helped more than 1.9 million quit smoking over the years.

Approximately 7.2 million people above the age of 18 smoke in the UK, as outlined by figures released by the Office for National Statistics in July 2019.

Meanwhile, around 78,000 people in the UK die every year as a result of smoking-related causes, the NHS states. 

Despite knowing the risks, giving up smoking can be a struggle for many smokers.

Here’s how you can get involved in Stoptober.

What is Stoptober?

Stoptober is a Public Health England campaign that challenges smokers to give up cigarettes for 28 days during the month of October.

The premise is that after abstaining for this period of time, individuals are five times more likely to quit smoking permanently.

How can you take part?

If you would like to take part in Stoptober, you can visit, where you can sign up for daily email support and find an online community, through which you can connect with others who are also trying to give up smoking.

The webpage also provides details for England’s National Smokefree Helpline, which can be contacted on 0300 123 1044, Monday to Friday from 9am to 8pm and at weekends from 11am to 4pm.

What other support is there for people taking part in Stoptober?

You can also download the free NHS Stoptober app, which can help you track your progress and show you how much money you are saving by refraining from smoking.

The app also provides daily support for those taking part.

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