Skip to the content

This Stoptober are you up for the challenge?

Throughout the recent Covid-19 Pandemic many people have taken a moment to stop and reflect on their health and wellbeing, deciding that it could be time to make some changes.

Stopping smoking is one of the best things you'll ever do for your health. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable illness, causing cancer, heart and lung disease. Smoking attacks the lungs, making it harder to breathe but when you stop, you give your lungs the chance to repair, plus there are lots of other benefits too - and they start almost immediately.

Over recent months both The Chief Medical Officer and Health Secretary have highlighted that smokers are at increased risk of chest infections which can often be more serious. This is because smoking harms the immune system, reducing the bodies’ natural protection against infections, like coronavirus. In fact smokers who are hospitalised with COVID-19 are more likely to suffer severe outcomes than non-smokers.

Tessa Lindfield is Convenor for the Frimley Health and Care Integrated Care System’s Living Well Ambition and Strategic Director of Public Health for Berkshire. She said:” Quitting smoking is always a good move for your health, and now could be even more important than ever to lower your risk of complications from respiratory diseases like COVID and flu"

In July analysis by ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) and UCL (University College London) found that over a million people in the UK had stopped smoking since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country and in addition a further 440,000 smokers had tried to quit during the period April – June 2020.

Many people try to quit smoking with willpower alone, but it's much easier with the right help. Research has shown that if you quit for 28 days, you're 5 times more likely to quit for good so why not take part in Stoptober. As well as local support services that are listed in the table below the Better Health website has lots of useful information and advice.

Perhaps these top tips will help you on your way to making a change:

  • List your reasons to quit.
  • Tell people you're quitting.
  • If you have tried to quit before, remember what worked.
  • Use stop smoking aids.
  • Have a plan if you are tempted to smoke.
  • List your smoking triggers and how to avoid them.
  • Keep cravings at bay by keeping busy.
  • Exercise away the urge.
  • Join the Facebook group for support and advice.
So are you ready for the challenge?
Ready to join thousands of others for Stoptober?

Once you have picked your quit date, remember to add it to your calendar then throw away all your cigarettes before you start. Remember, there is never "just 1 cigarette". Good Luck - You can do it!


Telephone: 0800 622 6360
Text QUIT to 66777

Bracknell Telephone: 01344 35200
Text QUIT to 81400
Hampshire Telephone: 0800 772 3649
Text QUIT to 66777
Windsor and Maidenhead (inc. Ascot) Web:
Telephone: 0800 061 4734/01753 373 646
Slough Telephone: 0800 061 4734/01753 373 646
Text QUIT to 66777
Using the Quit with Bella app
Surrey Telephone: 01737 652 168
National details

The NHS offers several ways to access some support without leaving your home.

Smoke-free app

The app can help you stop smoking by providing daily support and motivation. If you stay smoke-free for the four-week programme, you're up to FIVE TIMES more likely to quit for good. Plus, you can track the days you've been smoke free and see how much you're saving. Download the Smokefree app.

Daily email support

Stay focussed on quitting, with support sent straight to your inbox. The Smokefree emails, sent every day for 28 days, are full of advice, tips and encouragement to help you achieve your goal. Sign up for Smokefree email support.


Frimley Health and Care