Stoptober is back for another year, encouraging millions of people across the UK to quit. It is estimated around ten million adults - around 16 per cent of the total population - currently smoke, according to public health charity Action on Smoking and Health.
Although smoking rates have declined over past decades, smoking is still the biggest cause of preventable illness and premature deaths in the country, accounting for almost 80,000 deaths in England a year, as stated by Public Health England. For people with long-term health conditions such as diabetes and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) smoking exacerbates symptoms and significantly decreases quality of life.
So, if you're thinking of stopping smoking - there's no better time to try! Why don't you sign up to the annual Stoptober campaign, which last 28 days from October 1st, and is based on research which suggests that if you can stop smoking for 28-days, you are five times more likely to be able to quit for good. To date, Stoptober has driven almost 1 million quit attempts, proving the campaign to be extremely successful.
Wendy Norton, Head of Health coaching at My Clinical Coach guides smokers through the road to quitting this October:
You may have tried to quit smoking before and failed, but this doesn't mean you will not succeed this time. Think about what you could do differently which could help to change the outcome. Distraction can be surprisingly helpful, so if you find that you're craving nicotine, perhaps go for a long walk, meet up with a friend or treat yourself to a trip to the cinema to keep your mind occupied.
A review of scientific studies has proved that exercise - even a five-minute walk or stretch - cuts cravings and may help your brain produce anti-craving chemicals.
Make a list
Writing a list of the reasons why you would like to quit will remind you why Stoptober is worth doing. Do you want to be healthier? Save money? Be a more positive health role model for your children? Acknowledging these reasons along the way will help motivate you to quit smoking.
Quit with a friend or family member
Quitting with a friend or family member will provide strong support and can prove to be more effective than going it alone. You can also call the NHS Smoke Free Helpline on 0300 123 1044 to speak to a trained, expert adviser.
Choose a replacement
Nicotine replacement therapy (in the form of patches, tablets, lozenges, gum and nasal sprays) can double your chances of success. However, according to a recent study from University College London and Cancer Research, e-cigarettes have replaced nicotine patches and gum to become the most popular choice of smoking cessation aid in England.
If you have a long-term condition, clinical health coaching offers one-to-one advice, can help you manage your diagnosis, and support you with your quit attempt. Visit My Clinical Coach to find out more.