Stoptober is an annual campaign that urges smokers all over the country to join in and try quitting for the month of October under the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities’ umbrella brand, “Better Health Let’s Do This.” The 28 day challenge aims to support smokers by offering resources such as the NHS Quit Smoking App to track progress and understand the benefits of quitting. According to research, people who can go at least 28 days without smoking are five times more likely to successfully quit for good.
Quitting smoking is said to not only improve your physical health, but your mental health and wellbeing in general, and the benefits can begin straight away. Quitting smoking is certainly a challenge, but Debbie Jones, an employability advisor for Restart has successfully began her no smoking journey after completing the Stoptober challenge last month.
Debbie talked about her Stoptober experience, and it is plain that she is an inspiration to those trying to give up smoking.
What inspired you to do Stoptober this year?
Health – I started getting pain in the back of my leg when walking, and I may have peripheral vascular disease, which means I may have a blocked artery. I have no pulses in the top of my right foot, and referred to the hospital to see a vascular consultant. I have previously worked in a vascular unit at t a hospital in Glasgow, so know all the consequences of vascular disease.
What resources did you use throughout your Stoptober journey?
Went to the chemist for patches and chewing gum and have a mint flavoured vape. I visit the chemist every week for continued support and patches.
Have you noticed any health benefits since taking part in Stoptober?
I am not coughing/wheezing like I was.
Has taking part in Stoptober made any changes to your mental health?
Not really, I have been a bit emotional / moody while I was away on holiday, as It was difficult being out socialising/drinking alcohol and not smoking
Any advice to anyone else who’s considering quitting smoking?
It isn’t easy, but it is possible. Get support from professionals at the chemist etc. and keep reminding yourself of the reason you want to quit, you have to want to do it for yourself, and also the app is good, where you can see how much you have saved, and there are motivational stickers etc. on there, and tips to read each day.