With almost 200,000 of the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw population addicted to tobacco, it’s a big problem in our region and Stoptober is a perfect opportunity to quit.

The Stoptober campaign is now in its tenth year and is calling on smokers in England to join the 2.3 million others who have made a quit attempt with the campaign since it launched a decade ago in 2012.

Due to the Covid pandemic, this year's Stoptober mass quit attempt is even more important, which is why the QUIT programme, in partnership with Yorkshire Cancer Research, is highlighting the opportunity to start your smoke-free journey this October.

Smoking damages the lungs and airways, making it harder to breathe. Each cigarette fills our lungs with toxins which harm the immune system and leave us more vulnerable to infections. These toxins also increase the risk of at least 15 different types of cancer, causing 1,240 new cases in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw every year.  

A new nationwide survey of 2,000 current smokers has found that nearly half have been smoking more since the first lockdown began. Key reasons reported are being bored in the lockdowns or the pandemic making them more anxious. What’s more, data from the monthly UCL Smoking Toolkit Study indicates a large increase in smoking among the under-35s since the coronavirus pandemic, up from 18% in 2019 to 24% now.

The good news is that the survey also found that more than half of smokers want to quit, and three quarters would never have started smoking if they could go back in time.

Stopping smoking also boosts mental health and wellbeing. For symptoms of anxiety and depression, stopping smoking is as effective as taking antidepressants. Just six weeks after quitting, people start feeling happier as well as healthier.

If you are a smoker, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your health, allowing you to start moving better, breathe more easily and save money.

It’s never too late to quit and there’s plenty of effective treatments and support to help you quit.

Statistics show that if a smoker can go 28 days without a cigarette, they are five times more likely to quit for good, so why not aim to go through October tobacco-free?

Join the thousands of others and start your quitting journey this October by visiting the NHS' Better Health 'quit smoking' pages where you can access free resources to help you quit.

The free to download NHS Quit Smoking app includes showing you how much money you're saving, and you can subscribe to get a daily email to boost your motivation. 

Expert support from local stop smoking services gives people the best chance of success. Find contact details for our local stop smoking services at www.sybics-quit.co.uk/what-quit-programme/stop-smoking-support.

Also check out the QUIT Programme that is being rolled out in all NHS Hospital Trusts across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw, in partnership with Yorkshire Cancer Research, at www.sybics-quit.co.uk.