Since 2012, the NHS and others have been campaigning for smokers to brave it in October and quit for 28 days through an initiative called Stoptober. So far, around a million people have taken up the challenge. With 215,000 people taking part in last year’s Stoptober, organisers hope for even more to get involved in this year’s campaign.
Quitting for just 28 days has been found to make you five times more likely to stop smoking for good. What’s more, quitting as part of a supportive group can improve your chances even further. If you quit with your friends, family or co-workers this Stoptober, you know they will be there to offer support and advice.
By signing up for Stoptober you’ll be entitled to a free support pack as well as regular emails and texts giving you information and support. There’s also the Stoptober app which is free to download onto your phone and the whole month is well supported on social media. The NHS Smokefree website’s Stopblog regularly releases articles, videos and podcasts which you can subscribe to for even more encouragement. Just head to nhs.uk/smokefree/stoptober to get signed up.
Christians Against Poverty is also keen to back you in your quest to go smoke-free. 71 CAP Release Groups are currently running in churches and communities around the UK and are here to help people break free from a wide range of life-controlling habits and dependencies such as smoking. The courses span eight sessions and offer free emotional and practical support in an environment of security and trust.
Smoking addiction is a huge problem in the UK with eight million people smoking in England and almost 80,000 smoking-related deaths recorded every year. However, huge changes are already in progress, with a decline in smoking of 37% over the last 50 years.
If you, or anyone you know, wants to join in with this year’s Stoptober – or if you want help quitting smoking right away – visit the NHS Smokefree website at nhs.uk/smokefree.
To find out more about CAP Release Groups, whether you’re interested in signing up or running one through your local church, see the CAP website at capuk.org/i-want-help/cap-release-groups.
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