ENGLAND – Across the pond, the British government is launching an anti-smoking campaign urging smokers to test themselves: For the entire month of October, quit smoking and see how you feel, is the gist of it. They’re calling it “Stoptober.”
“Stoptober” is a government anti-smoking campaign that officially kicks off on October 1st and runs for 28 days. Why the arbitrary number? According to research obtained by the BBC, smokers who can quit for at least a month are much less likely to start up again. If “Stoptober” sounds like a crazy, desperate new campaign, well, that’s because it sort of is. England’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies said that “Stoptober” marks the first time that the government has launched a “mass quit attempt.”
“Smoking is still the biggest cause of premature death in England,” Dame Sally said. “This is the first time that we have launched a mass quit attempt like Stoptober. I would encourage people who want to quit to get involved.”
The anti-smoking campaign will see TV and radio advertising, a daily messaging service, and roadshows across the country. There’s even a “Stoptober” app and a Facebook page, t’boot.
“Smoking accounts for one in four cancer deaths and nearly a fifth of all cancer cases so it’s vital that work continues to support smokers to quit,” said Jean King, director of tobacco control at Cancer Research UK. “Breaking the addiction is difficult, so new and innovative campaigns such as this are hugely important. It’s key that smokers don’t give up trying to give up.”
Also sounding off on the “Stoptober” campaign, Maureen Talbot, a senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation.
“Stopping smoking is the single best thing you can do for your own health as well as those you love and live with. Quitting also makes you look better by improving your skin and teeth and, of course, it helps your finances too.”
I know they’re only doing it in England as of the now, but would you like to see a government-backed anti-smoking campaign like “Stoptober” here in the states?