As this year’s Stoptober challenge nears the finishing line, people are reminded that they can start their own attempt to quit smoking on any day of the year.

People who have given up smoking this Stoptober have less than a week to go before they reach the end of the life changing 28 day challenge – and others who want to stop smoking are encouraged to beginning quitting as soon as they are ready.

Stoptober is based on research that shows that people who can stop smoking for 28 days are 5 times more likely to stay smoke free for good.

Smoking rates in Wolverhampton have continued to decrease over recent years, with many people quitting over the last 18 months after research found smokers were likely to suffer more severe symptoms if they contracted Covid-19 than non smokers. However, smoking remains the leading preventable cause of premature death in England.

Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: “Stopping smoking is the best thing you can do for your health and the health of those around you, on both a short term and long term basis.

“It damages the lungs and airways, making it harder to breathe. Each cigarette fills lungs with toxins which harms your immune system and leaves you more vulnerable to infections, including Covid-19. Stopping smoking lets you breathe more easily, gives you more energy, improves your fertility and you will save money too.

“If you've taken the Stoptober challenge and you've managed to stay smoke free, please keep on going because you are approaching the magic 28 day mark which should make it much easier to quit for good.

"You’re nearly there but watch out for those ‘just the one’ moments. It never is just the one, so keep your motivations in mind. Whether it's for your health, to save money or for your family, keep reminding yourself of them throughout your quit journey – because it will help keep you focused along the journey.

"And if you haven't taken part in Stoptober but want to stop smoking, why not set up your own 28 day quit challenge, starting today?"

For more help and support to stop smoking, please visit Be Smoke Free.

Many smokers turn to cigarettes to help them with stress, but smoking increases our heart rate and stress levels. For top tips on better ways to manage stress, please visit NHS.