The estimated 1.2 million smokers living in London are being encouraged to access specialist assistance to help them quit as part of the annual Stoptober programme.
Stoptober, the 28-day stop smoking campaign from Public Health England, begins again on 1 October. It has driven over 1 million quit attempts to date and is the biggest mass quit smoking attempt in the country. It is based on research that shows that if you can stop smoking for 28-days, you are five times more likely to stay smoke-free for good.
The 28 Day Challenge, which is being run for residents in Kingston, Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea and the City of Westminster by healthy lifestyle provider Thrive Tribe on behalf of local authorities and NHS Trusts, provides participants with remote telephone and online support. It is based on a system designed at the University of California and is evidence-based and supported by research. Participants who sign up will receive regular support calls from a team of specialist ‘Quit Coaches’ and can be supported with nicotine replacement therapy if necessary, to give participants the best chance of going smoke-free for good. Participants have been shown to be up to four times more likely to quit smoking with the support of these programmes. Other services will be available in other areas of London.
“Statistics show us that around 68% of regular smokers want to quit. That means there could be around 860,000 smokers in London who want to give up. This 28 day programme and programmes like it give them the perfect opportunity to do so,” explains Stop Smoking Advisor, Pam Bothwell.
“We have already seen with previous participants that within 48 hours your ability to taste and smell improves; breathing becomes easier and energy levels increase after 72 hours; after a month, your appearance improves, and between three and nine months after stopping coughs and breathing problems improve as your lung function is increased by up to 10%. It’s got to be worth giving it a go.”