Stoptober 2023  


As the seasons change we welcome forms of transformation, and it can be a way to make transformations in our lives for our health. Stoptober is the month long challenge of quitting cigarettes and has helped over 2 and a half million people quit. Stoptober is based on research that if a smoker can quit cigarettes for up to 28 days, they are more likely to quit for good. 


There are immense and immediate health benefits to quitting smoking, it can also save a lot of money. According to GOV.UK the average smoker can save up to £1,875.60 a year by quitting smoking.  


Our HR Director, Esther Barnes, shares her story of quitting smoking thanks to the support of her colleagues.  


Peer wellbeing support  

It was a cold January morning before work, and I was inspired by a colleague who had recently given up smoking cigarettes, after being a smoker for many years myself and thinking about quitting and even attempted it before I was inspired by my colleague’s story that day and their encouraging words, so I decided it was time to take the step to stop the cigarette habit.  My colleague shared with me hints and tips and recommended downloading the NHS Quit smoking app.    


It was hard a first, but I felt confident I could do it with the support from my colleague who was always there to listen and give me confidence that I had got this.  Having peer support really helped me being able to check in with someone that was on the same journey, understood the challenges and could remind me of the benefits of quitting, this kept me committed to achieving my goal. 


It has now been 271 days and I am feeling better in my overall wellbeing and health, and I am proud of myself too!’. Thank you, Michelle, without you I do not think I would have even attempted to pack in the cigarettes.