Stoptober cigarette challenge reaches new high

Danny Berriman, who sells e-cigarettes on markets in Driffield, Pocklington and Beverley
Danny Berriman, who sells e-cigarettes on markets in Driffield, Pocklington and Beverley

Nearly 19,000 people across Yorkshire and the Humber joined a quarter of a million across the nation turning their back on cigarettes this month in the mass 28-day stop smoking challenge, Stoptober.

Research shows that stopping smoking for 28 days can extend your life by up to one week if you remain smokefree. The new ex-smokers from Yorkshire and the Humber are therefore celebrating their first steps towards a healthier, smokefree life, and if they succeed in quitting for good, they could collectively add as much as 363 years of life to the population.

Taking part in Stoptober has reaped additional benefits:

The average smoker has 13 cigarettes a day, which equates to 364 cigarettes every four weeks. Stoptober would have saved them £141 each over four weeks and if they remain smokefree they could save £423 by Christmas and £1,696 in a year. Collectively, if all Stoptober participants in Yorkshire and the Humber quit for the 28 days this month they would have saved £2,665,464

With the average cigarette taking approximately 4 minutes to smoke, this Stoptober could have saved the average smoker over 24 hours by not smoking; and cumulatively the nation’s Stoptober participants would have gained over 680 years in spare time

Dr Andrew Furber from the Yorkshire and Humber-wide tobacco control alliance said:

“Congratulations to everyone across Yorkshire and the Humber who has taken up the Stoptober challenge and managed not to smoke. You will be breathing easier and your sense of taste and smell will have improved as well as having saved over a lot of money. Having achieved so much, keep it up and stay smokefree and the benefits will keep on coming.”

Backed by a huge number of supporters - including celebrities, charities, sports clubs and stop smoking services - Stoptober has helped thousands of people try and stay free from cigarettes through support packs, a 28 day app, social media activities and tips and advice from a host of celebrity well-wishers.

Actress and singer Kelsey-Beth Crossley, took on the 28 day stop smoking challenge to improve her health and protect her singing voice. Commenting on her quit attempt, Kelsey-Beth said:

“I did find the 28 days a real challenge – especially to begin with – but knowing so many other people were going through the same thing was really motivating and encouraging.

Well done to everyone who has managed to get through 28 days smokefree – long may it continue and good luck for the future.”

Stoptober started on 1 October 2013 and runs for 28 days. Research shows that those who stop smoking for 28 days are five times more likely to stay smokefree. Last year saw over 160,000 people successfully complete the four-week challenge.

It is not too late to start your own 28-day challenge – for more information and to download the Stoptober app visit www.stoptober.smokefree.nhs.uk.

Pictured is Danny Berriman who sells e-cigarettes on markets at Driffield, Beverley and Pocklington