Stop smoking challenge gears up for fifth year of success

Oxfordshire smokers are being encouraged to take part in this year’s Stoptober campaign, which starts on 1 October.

Based on research that if you stop smoking for 28-days you are five times more likely to quit for good, Oxfordshire County Council’s public health department is encouraging smokers to pledge to quit in whatever way suits them best, making the most of a wide range of support throughout their journey.

Cabinet Member for Public Health, Cllr Hilary Hibbert-Biles, said: “Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death in the UK and contributes to around 100,000 deaths each year. We’re supporting Stoptober because it’s vital we encourage Oxfordshire residents to make healthy choices – especially with regards to stopping smoking, which is the single best thing you can do to improve your life expectancy.”

For those people who like to find their own way, the Stoptober website can signpost you to an app and email and social media support including Facebook Messenger.

For those who prefer expert face to face support, Smokefreelife Oxfordshire – the stop smoking service commissioned by the council and provided by Solutions 4 Health, will be with you every step of the way.

Providing professional and tailored advice, your stop smoking advisor can give guidance on the different types of stop smoking aids available to you; including medicines and e-cigarettes, helping you to choose the best solution for you.

Starting on Saturday 17 September in Banbury, Smokefreelife Oxfordshire will be holding special Stoptober-themed clinics throughout the county. Leena Sankla, Director of Public Health & Lifestyle Services, Solutions 4 Health Ltd, encourages people to stop by and get involved: “We are passionate about giving smokers the best possible chance to quit and hope that lots of people come and find out what we can offer by talking to the staff at our event. There will be lots going on and I’d encourage everyone, smoker or not, to come and enjoy the entertainment and learn about the support available through Smokefreelife Oxfordshire.”

Everyone’s quitting journey is different, but you will not be alone. Nearly a million people have taken part since Stoptober began five years ago, so join in with the biggest stop smoking challenge of its kind, search Stoptober and find the right support for you.