During October, the nation’s eight million smokers are being encouraged to take part in the first ever mass quit attempt launched by the Department of Health – Stoptober. 

Stoptober 2012 kicks off on Monday 1 October and runs for 28 days. 

In Oxfordshire we’re distributing Stoptober materials through all the GP surgeries and pharmacies – where we have trained NHS stop smoking advisers ready to help – and at Freshers’ Fairs and other local events at workplaces and children’s centres.

Our Smoking Cessation Team has some tips to help you become smoke free:

  • Take smoking completely outside, making your home and car smoke free is the first step to change.  Having to think about where you smoke will make you think “how much do I want to smoke?” 
  • List your reasons for quitting and keep them on the fridge, bathroom mirror or in some prominent place. 
  • Make an appointment with a Qualified Stop Smoking Adviser.  If you are lucky enough to live in Oxfordshire, every GP practice has at least one stop smoking adviser who will assess your smoking and carbon monoxide levels and if necessary provide you with the stop smoking medication needed via prescription.  They will also see you on a regular basis for help and support.  Alternatively call 0845 40 80 300 and the Smoking Advice Service will put you in touch with your nearest community adviser.  You never know there may be one at work, school, college or at your local pharmacy. 
  • Set a quit date. 
  • If you can, store the stop smoking help lines in your phone and why not down load an app. 
  • Use the medications as prescribed, keep your appointments to adjust medication if necessary and also for support and tips. 
  • Now you have made your home and car smoke free keep busy and freshen up the place.  Empty those ashtrays and get rid of any old lighters and wash any old coats that have that lingering stale tobacco smell. 
  • Ask family and friends for support, let them know you are serious about this. 
  • Give yourself a goal of 28 days.  This is less daunting than ‘forever’.   After 28 days see whether you would like to keep going. 
  • Put the money you would have spent on cigarettes in a jar and treat yourself at the end of the month. 
  • Change your daily routine. E.g. if you normally get up and go straight downstairs for a coffee and a cigarette, jump in the shower instead and get ready before going down stairs, have juice instead of a hot drink.  Treat yourself to a different breakfast. 
  • Drink lots of water.  It may be that you need to keep a bottle of water handy to sip at on a regular basis. 
  • Keep busy; changing your routine and doing things that you don’t associate with smoking helps.  Go to places where smoking is not allowed e.g. the cinema, swimming pool, bowling. 
  • Practice saying ”no thanks I don’t smoke”

You can also find out more about our local stop smoking services by visiting http://www.smokefreeoxfordshire.nhs.uk/ or calling 0845 40 80 300. We have over 1000 advisers across the county who can support you to stop smoking.

For further information about Stoptober and to join the biggest stop smoking challenge of its kind, visit www.smokefree.nhs.uk/Stoptober