'Stoptober' stop-smoking campaign launched in England

Stoptober ad The Stoptober wheel will travel the country so people can sign it and pledge to quit

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Smokers across England are being urged to quit for a month in a government campaign.

Research has shown that people who manage to stop smoking for that length of time are more likely not to start again.

"Stoptober" takes place for 28 days from 1 October.

England's Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies said it was the first time that the government had launched a "mass quit attempt".

The campaign will involve TV and radio advertising, a daily messaging service and roadshows around the country. There is also a Stoptober app and a Facebook page.

Health Minister Norman Lamb, who said he quit smoking last week, told BBC Breakfast the campaign was "a good investment in health promotion".

"I think it's well worth trying this approach," he said.

"And if we can get people working locally together collectively to give up we can have a real impact."

'Social animals'

Robert West, director of tobacco studies at University College London, meanwhile, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that smokers tended to stop "in clumps".

Start Quote

It's key that smokers don't give up trying to give up”

End Quote Jean King, Cancer Research UK

"We are social animals, we are herd animals and we are influenced by each other," he said.

He added: "So I think there's good reason to believe setting it up as a mass movement, if you like, would give you a bit of extra bang for your buck."

Jean King, director of tobacco control at Cancer Research UK, which is backing the campaign, said: "Smoking accounts for one in four cancer deaths and nearly a fifth of all cancer cases so it's vital that work continues to support smokers to quit.

"Breaking the addiction is difficult, so new and innovative campaigns such as this are hugely important."

She added: "It's key that smokers don't give up trying to give up."


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  • rate this

    Comment number 623.

    Good luck to anyone who tries to give up.
    I stopped eight years ago after smoking 20/30 a day for 45 years, no more retching coughs and bitter mucus, no more smoky smelling clothes or inflicting the foul odour onto my grandchildren.
    Try to stop –it's tough, but after the effort you will emerge as a smoke-free winner.
    Take it from me, to be classed as an ex-smoker is worth fighting for.

  • rate this

    Comment number 622.


    You do realise that 80% of the price of a pack of cigarettes is tax?

    Which nets the state 9 to 10 billion pounds a year from smokers

  • rate this

    Comment number 621.

    While you are still an addict, you're not free to choose.Your addiction is too powerful an influence.

    You're free when you are free of your addiction.

    Then choose.

  • rate this

    Comment number 620.

    People will only give up fags if they want to. I stopped in 84, but was still a passive smoker until it was banned in pubs in 07. Campaigns are fine but at the end of the day it's down to the individual. However I come across school kids particularly girls who are smoking or approaching you for a light.

    I feel that a permanent shock & awe campaign with regards to smoking might be the answer.

  • rate this

    Comment number 619.

    more addictive than heroin and a lot more damaging. give up for a month? its a scandal that its still legal. Its a scandal we have "leaders" who keep it legal purely for monetary gain, just like the scum who deal heroin.

  • rate this

    Comment number 618.

    I have smoked for 30 years, and been subjected to many initiatives, advice of one kind or another, negative imagery et al. The simple truth is if you want to smoke you will and if you want to give up you will. It's simply a case of individual choice, something that is increasingly being eroded by the nanny state. I am Free to choose, and by god (who doesn't exist) I will, so there !!!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 617.

    Let me guess - the plan is to get people spending less so that they can be paid less?

  • rate this

    Comment number 616.

    Most of the negative vibes to this campaign are coming from those campaigners who are terrified that this government might get any kind of credit for any action they come up with on any issue! Why don't you all just get "some open mind" get shut of prejudicial thinking and any positive step on anything is worth giving it a chance.Comments like "something must be done/seen to be done" are pathetic!

  • rate this

    Comment number 615.

    Maybe 5 years from now there will be a public inquiry as to why mc donalds and coke sponsored the Olympics, must be their green credentials I think

  • rate this

    Comment number 614.

    I gave up the dreaded weed 18 months ago, all thanks to help from my local surgery.

    I was given the Champix tablets.

    Whilst they help you still need a real desire to give up, but the weekly support from the quit smoking nurse was invaluable.

    It is not easy to give up, but with a determination and help you can di it too!

    Good luck, you wont ever look back ;-)

  • rate this

    Comment number 613.

    You will always have a small stubborn group who will refuse to give up. I say, forget them, they wont listen, and concentrate on persuading young people not to start. My friend and I both gave up age 20, 40 years age {to have more money for alcohol} !

  • rate this

    Comment number 612.

    I smoked 30 a day for 10 years. I think any efforts from both the public and government can't be knocked. Quitting is an incredibly difficult task to undertake, something a non-addict will never know. Everybody needs a reason to quit and if Stoptober means that even one person quits for good then it has served it's purpose.

  • rate this

    Comment number 611.

    I used to smoke and now I don't. Smoking is a habit rather than an addiction. I quit because (at the time) I was sick of paying money to support Gordon Brown's basket case policies. It took absolutely nil willpower, no nicontine patches, no pursuasion, no help from anyone. I just stopped smoking. Just like that because I wanted to.

  • rate this

    Comment number 610.

    The real message we really should not forget is Advertising is good.
    Does not matter what you advertise.
    Always someome willing to buy the product.
    Who cares if the product affects your health?
    Mloney to be made.
    By the person selling the product.And by the person publishing the advert.
    It all comes down to money.

  • rate this

    Comment number 609.

    Given the "Taboo" associated with cigarettes now, I would like to ask when you are at the kiosk (wishing for your unbranded goods) & get a teenager on the mobile clueless to your desires.

    Did you come away with a pack of condoms only to try again later ?

  • rate this

    Comment number 608.

    460 Michelle Lenoir

    Erm, Isn't a cabinet minister called Kenneth Clarke a director of a Nottingham ciggy maker?

  • rate this

    Comment number 607.

    A friend of mine was a lifelong smoker. When I asked why she didn't quit, she would say it was just too difficult, despite knowing that it was dangerous. She has recently learnt that she has lung cancer and, guess what, she has quit smoking and is in the process of being treated.
    Don't leave it until it is too late.

  • rate this

    Comment number 606.

    I actually love a cigarette but don;t have a habit. I guess I smoke in any given year about 50-60 of them. Even on the rare occasions I buy a pack and smoke over a weekend I have no desire to smoke more as the hook isn't there... that and I feel like an ash tray. The only thing I couldn't give up was Football Manager so just deleted the entire game one strong day. Wheres our stop playing month?

  • rate this

    Comment number 605.

    Smoking destroys lives, found out what smoking 20 a day does this year I do not want to die yet! Smokers,including me will suffer premature death! It was my choice to smoke, I ignored all the advertising. It is my fault however, all that makes people aware of how smoking cuts short life (in a horrible way), should be welcomed If your a smoker & your reading this - GIVE-UP before it is to-late!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 604.

    Following the success or otherwise of previous "stop smoking" campaigns - and there has been a reduction smoking - can these researchers tell us how many fewer smokers there now are?

    AND how many fewer "smoking related" NHS treatments there now are?
    AND how much that has saved the NHS?


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