NHS and Public Health Liverpool urge smokers to give up this Stoptober

Al Murray, Rhod Gilbert, Shappi Khorsandi and Bill Bailey are encouraging smokers to take part in this year’s Stoptober and quit for 28 days from 1st October. Those who quit smoking for 28 days are five times more likely to ditch the habit for good. For your personalised free support search Stoptober and sign-up.

LIVERPOOL smokers are being urged to sign up to Stoptober with friends, family and colleagues to boost chances of quitting.

The Stoptober campaign calls on smokers to sign up together – as research shows they are 67% more likely to quit if their partner also stops smoking, and 36% more likely to quit if a friend stops.

By signing up to Stoptober quitters will get humorous supportive messages from some of the nation’s top comedians – Bill Bailey, Al Murray, Shappi Khorsandi and Rhod Gilbert.

Combining online support from comedians with a smoker’s ‘real world’ social groups can help increase their chances of getting through 28 days smokefree

Over a quarter of a million people across the country signed up to Stoptober last year with more than half making it to 28 days. This year it is expected the campaign will welcome the millionth sign up.

Dr Sandra Davies, Liverpool’s Director of Public Health, said: “Signing up to quit smoking is singularly the best thing you can do for you and your family’s health. We know that the vast majority of smokers in Liverpool are keen to give up and our message is that there is lots of support to help with this, ranging from Stoptober through to our local services like Roy Castle FagEnds and our local pharmacies across the city.

“If you have tried unsuccessfully to stop smoking before, don’t be put off, give it another go, and join the thousands of people across the city signing up to Stoptober. By stopping smoking for 28 days you are five times more likely to stop for good.”

Lisa Williams, Service Manager for Roy Castle FagEnds, said: “Giving up smoking can be very difficult and we know it often takes more than one attempt for people to break the habit. The good news is that if you quit smoking for four weeks then we know you have a much greater chance of quitting for good.

“FagEnds is here to support people throughout Stoptober and on into the future, so even if you’ve tried to quit before and not managed it yet, you shouldn’t give up on giving up.”

Roy Castle FagEnds has supported over 100,000 smokers in Liverpool through their quit attempt, with

over half of those successfully giving up. It provides a variety of free support, including group and one

to one sessions with trained advisors and medication such as patches,  inhalators and Champix that

can support people in quitting. Also available is support for people looking to give up e-cigarettes, as

well as traditional tobacco.

In 2014, a total of 7,028 people in the city got support to quit smoking through Roy Castle Fag Ends, and just over half (51%) were successful.

Over a quarter of a million people across the country signed up to Stoptober last year with more than half making it to 28 days. This year it is expected the campaign will welcome the millionth sign up.

Professor Kevin Fenton, Director of Health and Wellbeing for Public Health England said: “Stoptober will be providing people with more engaging and personalised support than ever. Along with receiving proven advice and support, participants this year will get encouragement every day from some of the best comedians in the country to help them through 28 days smokefree.

“The benefits of stopping smoking are almost immediate: quitters will soon see reduced blood pressure, easier breathing and better circulation. It is one of the best things a person can do to improve their health and reduce their chances of developing long-term conditions and dying prematurely. Sign up today and get ready to start your quitting journey with our support on 1 October.”

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.”

By signing up to Stoptober, participants can choose from a range of free support tools 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 – all of which have shown to increase the chances of staying smokefree.

This year’s campaign also coincides with new legislation in England and Wales making it illegal to smoke in a vehicle with someone under the age of 18 present.

To sign up to the nation’s biggest mass quit attempt, search Stoptober online or visit www.smokefree.nhs.uk/stoptober

People who want to use Roy Castle FagEnds can call 0800 195 2131. The helpline is open 9.30am to 7pm Monday to Friday. To find out which pharmacies offer stop smoking support contact Health Promotion on 0151 295 3256 on weekdays 9am – 5pm.