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E-cigarettes in the spotlight for #Stoptober2017

Paul Hooper, Co-director of the Tobacco Control Collaborating Centre reviews the launch of the 2017 Stoptober campaign.paulhooper




Forty years ago, almost to the day, my father – a committed smoker – was leaving hospital following several heart attacks in a fortnight (nature’s way of telling you to stop smoking). The good news is that he never smoked again and lived for another relatively healthy twenty five years. I also went on to marry the coronary care nurse! Life-changing in many ways.

All this is by way of introduction to what could be a life-changing period in the lives of thousands of smokers. Once again we are gearing up for ‘Stoptober’.

Sincstoptobere Stoptober started in 2012 it is estimated that over a million people have used the month-long campaign in their quit attempts.

Stoptober is based on the insight that if you can stop smoking for 28-days, you are five times more likely to be able to stay quit for good. The campaign chunks down the quitting process, presents it as a more manageable 28 days and rallies people around a specific date to get started.

Stoptober encourages as many smokers as possible to prepare to quit from 1 October by taking part in the campaign and utilising the range of free resources and support available. Throughout October the campaign will continue to recruit smokers to take part, whilst also encouraging and supporting people to quit through the 28-day smoke-free journey.

The overarching objective is to trigger significant numbers of quit attempts, by increasing motivation to quit and providing products to make this quitting easier.

See the official Stoptober webpage with loads of resources here

This year’s campaign, supported by PHE, which starts on 1st October, will feature e-cigarettes in the TV advertisement for the first time. (You can see this on through the website too)

Spokesperson for PHE, Professor John Newton, director of health improvement, said in their press release: “E-cigarettes are now the most popular way to quit in the country with half of all those taking part in Stoptober last year using an e-cigarette. The evidence is clear – vaping is much less harmful than smoking – a fraction of the risk. So, if you’ve struggled with quitting before, an e-cigarette may be the best option for you.”

However, there is still some controversy over e-cigarettes. NICE (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) this week issued guidance expressing caution about the risks and benefits of vaping.

NICE said: “The draft guideline does not list e-cigarettes as recommended aids to stop smoking however it does say that advice should be offered on their use.

stop ball

Whatever, your views on e-cigarettes, my father demonstrated if you quit smoking you can recover some of your life expectancy and go on to enjoy healthy family life for many years. Let’s hope more people than ever choose to do the same using the available resources of Stoptober – e-cigs and all.

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