One person quits every 80 seconds

With the annual stop smoking campaign Stoptober already under way, Public Health England (PHE) has revealed encouraging news.

According to the latest figures released for the event, there are now one million fewer smokers in England since 2014. In 2017 nearly 400,000 smokers in England quit successfully – that’s 1,069 smokers each day (or one every 80 seconds).

However the figures also show that most of the six out of 10 smokers in England who want to quit try to do so using willpower alone – despite the fact that this is the least effective method.

So what’s the best way? According to PHE, the most successful quit attempts use a combination of effective stop smoking support methods, namely getting help from local stop smoking services and using stop smoking aids. Indeed, 51 per cent of smokers who did just that in 2017 managed to quit.

This year, you can also make use of the Stoptober Personal Quit Plan – an online plan that can help you find the stop smoking support that will work best for you. All you have to do is answer a series of questions and you’ll get a suggested combination of support based on your level of dependency on cigarettes and what support you may have tried before.

Two’s better than one

For instance, did you realise that using two types of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products in combination is thought to be more effective than using just one? For instance, you could use an all-day nicotine patch together with a fast-acting option such as an inhaler or lozenges to help combat any immediate cravings.

“I see many people in my surgery who want to quit smoking but far too many try without support, and they end up going back to smoking after a short period,” says Dr Sarah Jarvis, GP and TV doctor.

“Stop smoking aids and face-to-face support from local stop smoking services are proven methods of support that help many thousands of people to quit each year.”

If you haven’t joined the Stoptober campaign yet, it’s not too late. The idea behind Stoptober is that if you can make it to 28 days smoke free, you’re five times more likely to quit for good. Better late than never, the say, so get on board now by visiting the Stoptober website.

Dr Jenny Harris, deputy medical director at PHE also says that with giving up smoking, it’s important not to stop trying.

“There are many different types of stop smoking support available, so it can be difficult for a smoker to know what will work best for them,” she says. “The important thing is not to be put off trying to quit even if you have not managed to in the past. We predict that thousands of smokers will quit every day over the next 10 years – I urge smokers not to get left behind for the benefit of their health.”

If you prefer to get advice in person, your local Careway pharmacist is the ideal expert to help you decide what support you could try, not just during Stoptober but at any time of the year. Just pop into your nearest Careway pharmacy and ask if you can have a word with the pharmacist in private – in most cases you won’t even have to make an appointment.

Find your nearest participating Careway pharmacy by using our Pharmacy Finder.