The UK government has announced details of its 2020 Stoptober campaign.
Stoptober is a yearly effort to improve the health of UK citizens and this year features new “Better Health” branding, with a focus on smoking cessation, weight loss and exercise.
Stoptober 2020 will provide the information and support people need to quit smoking for 28 days, based on research that if a smoker can make it to 28 days smokefree, they are five times more likely to quit for good.
More than 2 million smokers have quit since the campaign was launched in 2012.
Public Health England (PHE) is encouraging smokers to ‘put their lungs first’ and strengthen their immune system to prepare them for flu season.
Jo Churchill, Public Health Minister, said:
“It has never been more important to take care of ourselves, and quitting smoking is a great way to start.
“With smoking rates already at an all-time low and 2020 seeing more people stopping than ever, I urge all smokers to join in Stoptober to improve their health and help England become a smoke-free society by 2030.”
PHE is urging smokers to consider their health as the coronavirus shows no signs of abating.
The organisation is especially keen to raise awareness of the damage smoking can cause to the airway while we continue to fight a viral disease.
While evidence around the impact of smoking on COVID-19 remains uncertain, most experts agree that smokers are susceptible to developing more extreme symptoms should they get infected.
Professor Jamie Brown, Director of the UCL Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group and co-author of a living rapid evidence review on smoking and COVID-19, said:
“What is clear is that stopping smoking brings rapid improvements in respiratory and cardiovascular health…
“Quitting now will not only benefit people’s individual health and help improve their lung health ahead of flu season, but it will also help to reduce the demands on the healthcare system in these difficult times”
Previous Stoptober campaigns have advocated for the use of e-cigarettes to help smokers quit.
The Stoptober 2020 campaign is currently in the “rally” phase until October 1, so we can expect more news about the role vaping will play in this year’s Stoptober soon.