The clocks go back at the end of October, meaning the beginning of the cold winter snap and longer nights, but it’s not all doom and gloom. That’s because the ten-month in the calendar is recognised as an important month in the UK by a significant number - roughly 6.9 million as of ASH statistics in 2019 to be precise. While it coincides with the end of the summer cycle and the beginning of Autumn, for many it also refers to the government-backed initiative - Stoptober, which has symbolised a new lease of life and change across the UK. Based on the title of this article, you may have already guessed what Stoptober refers to - namely giving up cigarettes and turning to the healthier electronic alternative. So let’s find out a bit more about the initiative, such as when it started, the reason behind it and plans.
Stoptober - When and Why Did it Start?
First launched in 2012, Stoptober is a Public Health England and NHS-backed health drive that asks participants to quit smoking for 28 days. The length of time, based on research, suggests if smokers can hold off for four weeks, they're more likely to quit smoking for good.
But 28 days is a long time when you’re addicted to smoking. Cigarettes include not just dangerous chemicals that can cause serious harm but addictive substances too. With each cigarette ‘stick’ containing roughly two teaspoons of sugar and an unknown amount of addictive nicotine, no wonder it’s hard to quit. Stoptober began back in 2012 to help those who need an extra dose of motivation to kick smoking to the curb.
Has the Initiative Been a Success?
To date, Stoptober has helped over two million smokers quit. This has been so successful due to a massive publicity drive and a wealth of digital materials that make it easy to educate people about the process. Each year, Public Health England put into their marketing campaigns roughly £1 million a year, which demonstrates the levels they’re willing to go to promote the initiative. With the app updated for 2021 to help smokers quit and a range of other mediums that they’ve updated to reach out to smokers, it’s a powerful tool. To reach the UK government's goal of a smoke-free society by 2030, these kinds of campaigns as well as the rise of e-cigarettes as a cessation tool will make a huge difference.
How You Can Get Involved With Stoptober
If you’re interested in taking part in Stoptober, there’s no better time to throw yourself in. Here are some top tips to make the experience worthwhile and stick. Starting with:
- Start with a friend, colleague or family member who can help you stay on track
- Don’t go cold turkey. If you have tried patches or gum in the past, you can only imagine how tough it is without any substitute. The same goes for any addiction. E-cigarettes are seen as twice as effective and replicate smoking by including nicotine.
- Sign up to multiple apps and set yourself daily, weekly and the month-long target to reach that 28-day goal and beyond
Should you go down the route of e-cigarettes, nicotine salts can help take the edge off those early, gnawing cravings. While these are in no way guaranteed to help break the habit of smoking, they can be of help when your willpower is tested with high nicotine strengths and a smoother texture, meaning no need to inhale as often as traditional freebase nicotine
Taking a break from smoking or vaping can be a fantastic opportunity to not only figure out how to quit but give perspective on where you can cut back. We always encourage our customers to be informed and honest when it comes to using our products. If you want to change to weaker infused products or reduce your consumption, we’re behind you every step of the way. You can do this with the Platinum range which is available in 1.8% nicotine, 1.2% and 0.6%, as well as zero nicotine if you only smoked socially and infrequently. We would encourage you to use Stoptober to reflect on what needs to change from a personal perspective and what you hope to get out of Stoptober – whether that’s trying something new that’s recognised as a healthier alternative to smoking, or preventing a cigarette relapse.
Stay tuned for more articles in Stoptober, where we explain the full benefits of switching from smoking to vaping, including how you can save a few bucks! If you have any questions or queries, our in-house team is more than happy to help you find the right product for your unique needs.