Yesterday in the UK Stoptober 2013 began heralding the nation’s biggest stop-smoking campaign. It is anticipated that more than 180,000 smokers will attempt to quit the habit for the next 28 days at least. It’s a well-known fact that the support of a group can help smokers to quit so surely the knowledge that thousands of smokers are all taking up the same challenge must boost chances of individual success. Statistics show that smokers trying to quit who are members of a supportive group are four times more likely to succeed than those going it alone.
Smokers can sign up on the Stoptober website and claim a free stop-smoking pack which contains a calendar complete with daily tips and advice designed to help participants reach their goal. Regular email or text messages containing encouraging words can be sent direct to quitters throughout the month to help them keep on track. There’s also a Stoptober Twitter feed with a current following of over 13,000.
Benefits of quitting
When people quit smoking there’s often the misconception that they’ll be miserable. In actual fact, they tend to suffer less from anxiety and depression after they’ve given up. Giving up smoking is the most important thing you can do to improve your health, both now and in the future even though the withdrawal symptoms you suffer at the beginning of your quitting campaign can make you feel worse.
The body repairs itself very quickly and the minute you stop smoking, the carbon monoxide poison you’ve been inhaling is replaced by lovely, clean oxygen. Consequently, your lung function immediately improves and you have much more energy.
Stoptober quitters’ timeline to better health
October 1st/2nd – your body’s repair work has begun. Carbon monoxide levels fall and mucus is cleared from the lungs. Your chances of suffering a heart attack decrease.
October 3rd – Withdrawal symptoms kick in but your sense of smell improves. Your body is now a nicotine free zone.
October 8th – Your skin is becoming smoother and friends remark that you have a healthy glow and look really well.
October 9th – Your circulatory system is beginning to improve noticeably and your lung function is better.
October 12th – Welcome back your sense of taste!
October 14th – Those tell-tale yellowish stains on your fingers should begin to disappear.
October 16th – Well done! Now your energy levels are beginning to feel boosted. Keep it up!
October 25th – The repair job on your lungs continues and you’ll now notice your exercise tolerance and fitness levels creeping up.
If you want to be a part of Stoptober, check out the website at stoptober.smokefree.nhs.uk.
*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.