Nearly a quarter of a million people in England and Wales turned their back on their cigarettes this month to reap the financial, social and health benefits from taking part in the mass 28-day stop smoking challenge, Stoptober.
Research shows that stopping smoking for 28 days can extend your life by up to 1 week if you remain smokefree.The new ex-smokers across England and Wales 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 4,700 years of life to the population .
However, taking part in Stoptober has delivered even more than the health benefits; there are major savings in time and money:
The average smoker has 13 cigarettes a day , which equates to 364 cigarettes every 4 weeks. Stoptober would have saved them £141 each over 4 weeks, and if they remain smokefree, they could save £423 by Christmas and £1,696 in a year. Collectively, if all Stoptober participants quit for the 28 days this month they would have saved over £34.5 million
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 Stoptober participants would have gained over 680 years in spare time
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.
Joanne Eccles, 40 from Gateshead said:
Completing the 28 day challenge is a massive triumph and I feel a real sense of achievement. It wasn’t easy but all the support from friends and family really helped me along the way.
What’s even better is I have saved over £200 and now I am going to take the kids away for a weekend. I can’t believe how much money I used to waste every month.
Stoptober started on 1 October 2013 and ran for 28 days. Research shows that those who stop smoking for 28 days are 5 times more likely to stay smokefree. Last year saw over 160,000 people successfully complete the 4-week challenge.