08 / 9 / 2014 10.38am
Public Health England has launched this year's Stoptober campaign which encourages smokers to 'swap their fags for gags'.
Smoking remains the biggest cause of premature death in England accounting for over 80,000 deaths in the UK each year, with one in two long-term smokers dying prematurely from a smoking disease. It costs the NHS approximately £2.7bn a year for treating diseases caused by smoking and is estimated to cost UK plc around £5 billion per year, primarily through lost productivity and sickness absence.
Stoptober, launched in 2012, is a programme designed to help people quit smoking based on evidence that if you quit for 28 days you are five times more likely to quit for good.
Achievements from last year's campaign include:
- Reaching 6.5 million smokers challenging them to quit
- 1.3 million smokers visited the website and 250,000 registered to take part
- Stoptober support tools prompted record quit attempt levels, with 85 per cent making a quit attempt and 61 per cent lasting four weeks or more, making them five times more likely to remain smoke-free.
Employers can participate by contacting the Public Health England marketing team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Support tools include a new free ‘Break the Habit’ workplace toolkit, intended to provide employers with the guidance to bring Stoptober to life in the workplace and employees the means by which to stay motivated throughout the 28-day journey. Each member of staff that signs up to Stoptober will also receive a free pack through the post to support their quit attempt.