Stoptober, the 28 day stop smoking campaign, is back – and people in Wolverhampton are being encouraged to sign up and put their lungs first, strengthen their immune system and breathe easier ahead of the winter flu season.

The 28 day stop smoking challenge begins on Thursday (1 October) and 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 earlier this year after research found smokers were likely to suffer more severe symptoms if they contracted Covid-19 than non smokers. Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) estimates that more than a million people in the UK stopped smoking during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Nevertheless, smoking remains the largest preventable cause of death in Wolverhampton and is responsible for over 2,000 hospital admissions a year. 

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.

“With smokers likely to suffer more severe coronavirus symptoms than non smokers, it’s never been more important for people to quit. 
“And while this isn’t easy, Stoptober is the perfect time to give it a try – particularly with the support of friends, family and work colleagues. Remember, if you can make it to 28 days smoke free, you’re 5 times more likely to quit for good.”

She added: “This year, we also warmly welcome the fact that the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust will officially become smoke free from Thursday 1 October, on what is also the first day of Stoptober.”

Scott Crosby, Tobacco Control Programme Manager at Public Health England, said: “We know that smoking damages the lungs and weakens the immune system and so now, ahead of flu season, is an ideal time to put your lung health first.”

Stoptober offers a range of free support tools for those looking to quit, including digital services that are easily accessible for those looking for online support. These tools include the Stoptober app, Facebook messenger bot and online communities, SMS and daily emails. 

To take part in Stoptober, please sign up at NHS - Quit smoking this Stoptober. For more help and support to stop smoking, please visit Be Smoke Free. Information to help clear up some of the myths about e-cigarettes can be found at Public health matters.