quit smokingSmoking remains the UK's biggest killer with around 100,000 people dying as a direct result every year, and numerous more deaths caused by illnesses related to smoking, such as lung cancer and coronary heart disease.

If you smoke, your risk of developing more than 50 serious health conditions increases. With over eight million smokers in England alone, this is a real health issue that can't be ignored.

From graphic images coupled with stern warnings on cigarette boxes and hard-hitting adverts on the TV, it is hard to avoid the hazards of smoking. The good news is, for anyone who feels ready to quit, October is the perfect month to do so with Public Health England's successful 'Stoptober' campaign.

To help get you started, here at Express Pharmacy, we've pulled together this blog to tell you everything you need to know about the Stoptober Campaign.

What is Stoptober?

Stoptober kicks off on the 1st of October, running through until the 28th. The reason behind the 28 days is that research suggests that people who stop smoking for four weeks are up to five times more likely to stay smoke-free. Stoptober’s ambition is to help smokers achieve this goal.

The campaign provides smokers with a variety of free tools including a new stop smoking pack which is posted directly to them, a 28-day mobile phone app, text support with daily updates, tips for coping and quitting advice, as well as the encouragement and support from thousands of people quitting together through Stoptober social media channels.

This year, top British comedians including Paddy McGuinness, Al Murray, Simon Brodkin (aka Lee Nelson, Jason Bent and Dr Bob) and Andi Osho will be getting behind the campaign and bring a touch of the British sense of humour to help quitters through the challenge.

The benefits of quitting smoking are endless. Someone who quits smoking for Stoptober, and doesn’t smoke again, could gain an extra seven days of life, every 28 days, for the rest of their life.

It's not just health benefits that come in abundance. If you quit, your wallet will also thank you for it, as stopping saves the average smoker over £150 a month, that's almost £2,000 a year! During last year’s Stoptober campaign, a staggering £25 million was saved by the 160,000 people from not buying cigarettes.

If you're feeling ready to take the challenge and reap the rewards, all you need to do is register here: www.smokefree.nhs.uk/Stoptober/.

A big good luck from all the team at Express Pharmacy. And remember, if other methods of smoking cessation haven't worked before, we offer Champix prescriptions. Start an online consultation today and you could triple your chances of quitting smoking.