Every year, October sees thousands of people sign up to go smoke-free for just one month. For many people, that single month becomes the first of a cigarette-free future.

Thanks to initiatives like Stoptober and a growing awareness of the dangers of smoking, the number of people who smoke regularly is in steady decline. Similarly, the number of young people taking up the habit is decreasing.

If you are looking to kick the habit before the year is out, or want to support someone who is aiming to quit, here’s a guide to what is on this Stoptober.

Sign up online

Participating in Stoptober is as simple as binning the cigarettes for just one month. However, to get the most out of the experience, it’s well worth signing up on the NHS Stoptober website. When you sign up, you can receive daily emails from Stoptober to keep you motivated. Previous participants in Stoptober found this a particularly useful way to get the day off to a good start.

You can also download the Stoptober app, which is available for both Android and iOS users. Through the app, you can track how many days you’ve been smoke-free, calculate how much money you’ve saved and find a distraction to curb your cravings. If all that isn’t enough, you can distract yourself even further with a quick chat with the Stoptober Facebook Messenger bot! It’s also recommended to let your friends and family know that you’re taking part in Stoptober by sharing the event on social media. With your Facebook friends and Twitter followers keeping you accountable, you’re much more likely to persevere with the programme.

Stop smoking services

To help you quit this month, it might be worth paying a visit to your local stop smoking service. This involves completely free, one-to-one support from a trained healthcare professional. They can give you the tools you need to quit smoking for good — research suggests that you’re up to four times more likely to quit smoking with their help than you would be without. 9 out of 10 people who have used NHS stop smoking services would recommend it as an excellent way to quit smoking. You can search online for your local stop smoking service, so why not drop in this October?

Stop smoking medicine

Another way to quit smoking, recommended by the NHS, is by using stop smoking medicines. If you’ve unsuccessfully tried to stop smoking before, you’ll no doubt be familiar with the agonising withdrawal symptoms, which cause many people to pick up a pack of cigarettes again. This is because your body is craving the nicotine in cigarettes.

There are a number of different treatments on the market to replace nicotine, such as patches, lozenges and gum but there are also nicotine-free medications available, such as Champix. A prescription is required for Champix, which can be applied for quickly on our website by using the online consultation form.

For more information on Stoptober events going on in your area, visit www.nhs.uk/oneyou/stoptober/home or to speak to a member of the Express Pharmacy team about the best way to tackle your addiction, try our Live Chat tool.