Stoptober – the National 28 day quitting challenge from Public Health England – is back in Wirral and smokers are encouraged to join up and quit together for Stoptober 2015, using a range of free online resources, local stop smoking service support and a touch of Great British humour.

To stand an even better chance of quitting this year, Wirral residents are encouraged to sign up with their friends, family and colleagues, as evidence reveals that ‘social quitting’ can dramatically improve people’s chances of successfully stopping.

To access local Stop Smoking services call 0151 630 8383, email: [email protected] or contact your GP.

Research shows that smokers are two thirds (67%) more likely to quit when their spouse stops smoking, and a third more likely to quit when a close friend (36%) or someone they work with (34%) stops. The data also shows that individuals are much more likely (61%) to smoke if their partner or a close friend smokes – showing the powerful influence that people’s social networks have on their own smoking behaviour.

The campaign is aiming to build on the success of Stoptober in 2014 which saw 1,354 people in Wirral signing up to quit. 

Fiona Johnstone, Director of Public Health, Wirral Council said: “18.4% of people in Wirral continue to smoke and we know that two thirds of people who smoke want to quit. Stoptober is designed to offer the support and tools needed to help people to successfully achieve their aim of quitting and I urge everyone who smokes locally to take part in the challenge this year.

“In addition to the tools offered through the Stoptober campaign, you can access local support, expertise and medication on prescription to help you quit smoking through our stop smoking service. You are four times more likely to quit smoking with the help of a trained NHS stop smoking professional and you can contact them for free help and support all year round by calling 0151 630 8383, emailing [email protected] or visiting your GP.

“Good luck to everyone who is taking part in Stoptober this year.” 

Andrea Crossfield, Chief Executive of Tobacco Free Futures which works with Wirral to tackle the harmful effects of tobacco said: “I encourage every smoker in Wirral to quit this Stoptober and join together with loved ones and friends to motivate each other throughout their 28-day challenge.

“After a successful Stoptober 2014, which saw 32,000 people in the North West sign up to quit, it would be great to see even more people pledging to quit and joining together to make a positive change. If you quit smoking for 28 days then you are five times more likely to quit for good, improving your health and putting more money into your pocket.

“There has never been a better time to quit, with more free support than ever this year. This includes a stop smoking pack, a 28-day mobile phone app, text support with daily updates, quitting advice and tips for coping, as well as the encouragement and support from thousands of people quitting together through Stoptober social media channels.”

This year, Stoptober will be providing quitters with a personal touch from some of the nation’s leading comedians – Bill Bailey, Rhod Gilbert, Al Murray and Shappi Khorsandi. Messages of support and encouragement will be sent straight to quitters’ phones and emails throughout October. 

Sign up to the nation’s biggest mass quit attempt