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Smokers encouraged to swap fags for gags

Published: 08/09/2014

Stoptober 2014 enrols country’s top comedians to help smokers get through the 28 day quitting challenge.

Stoptober, the 28-day stop smoking challenge from Public Health England is encouraging smokers in Birmingham to swap their fags for gags, to help them quit for good this October.

Top British comedians including Paddy McGuinness, Al Murray, Simon Brodkin (aka Lee Nelson, Jason Bent and Dr Bob) and Andi Osho will this year bring a touch of the British sense of humour to help quitters through this difficult and daunting challenge.

Smoking is no laughing matter and neither is quitting. Two-thirds of smokers say they want to quit  but only four in ten told a recent survey that they have tried in the last year. There is no doubt that quitting is tough, but it is known that people who quit do feel better in time.

Stoptober

The 2013 campaign saw 250,000 people across the country take part and 65% of those successfully quitting for 28 days.

Public Health England is hoping even more will get involved this year by searching ‘Stoptober’ online and signing up.

Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer, said:

“We know the idea of giving up smoking can be daunting, but Stoptober has proved itself to be a fantastic platform for people to quit and offers all the support that smokers may need to take the first step to stopping for good. With support from this year’s line up of comedians we are asking anyone who wants to quit to join the thousands of others and take up the challenge and give Stoptober a go - stop smoking and start smiling.”

Evidence shows that if a smoker can go 28 days without a cigarette, they are five times more likely to stay permanently smoke-free. Quitting smoking can be a difficult process but successfully quitting has significant health, monetary and social benefits.

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

A nation-wide roadshow running from 8th September to 11th October will also see comedic entertainers go into communities across the country to drive more people to get involved in the campaign and share their own humorous experiences of quitting smoking or supporting others. 

The 28-day challenge starts on Tuesday 1st October. For more information and to join the biggest stop smoking challenge of its kind, click here and sign up!