2 Oct 2019
Stoptober Month October 2019
- What Is Stoptober?
- Why Is Smoking Bad For Your Health?
- Why Do People Smoke? The Reasons
- What are the Short Term Side Effects of Smoking?
- What are the Long Term Side Effects of Smoking?
- What is Passive Smoking?
- How Can You Stop Smoking?
What Is Stoptober?
Stoptober lasts for a period of 28 days (4 weeks) and is a long running event held each October during which participants are encouraged to stop smoking. The key purpose of this event is to reduce the number of smokers also to encourage participants not to smoke during that 28 day period. As a result, hoping that people give up smoking permanently due to the bad impacts it has on your health and well-being (mental and physical).
Stoptober is based on evidence which shows that after 28 days without cigarettes smokers are more likely to give up smoking permanently. It is highly recognised that giving up smoking tobacco is an extremely challenging task for many addictive smokers. This is why the campaign provides support wealth, through family, the NHS, friends and other participants. There are also resources, an app, social media channels to raise awareness and see the importance of quitting smoking and benefits. The fact that Stoptober uses social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook, using hashtags trends, media to make users feel engaged in the topic and also to measure campaign success.
Why Is Smoking Bad For Your Health?
Smoking is poisonous due to the certain cigarettes which contain thousands of poisonous chemicals which taste revolting. Your body tries to get rid of the poison by sending a message to your brain making you feel sick. This is why first time smokers often feel sick or dizzy or may cough a lot it’s their body trying to protect them from the poisonous substances contained in the cigarette.
Nicotine is one of the chemicals in a cigarette which makes it hard for people to stop smoking. Nicotine is a very addictive drug and when you finish smoking a cigarette the levels of nicotine in your body starts to drop making you want another cigarette.
Cigarette smoke sticks to your clothes, hair and makes your breath smell atrocious. People inhale smoke so it not only is bad for your own health but others around you as well. People who smoke often do not realise how revolting they smell to other people. Smoking causes damage to your lungs which increases your chances of catching coughs, colds or suffer from asthma. Not only does it increase your risk of getting cancer but also horrible diseases which can kill you.
The smoke from a cigarette that is being lighted is terrible that it not only damages your lungs but also the people around you who inhale it. Smoking is also very expensive when all that money spent on cigarettes can be used for much better reasons.
Why Do People Smoke? The Reasons
Most people start smoking during their teenage years and become addicted by the time they reach adulthood. Cigarettes are a very strong addiction as many people have tried to quit but have eventually returned to cigarettes because smoking is obsessive once started it can be very hard to stop. Young adults smoke for many different reasons such as
• To look mature and cool in front of their friends and to experiment.
• Since many teenagers see older people all around them smoking, especially their parents and/or relatives they smoke to act older.
• With young people, if their friends or peers smoke, they may feel pressured into doing the same to be accepted.
• In today’s generation young people find it exciting to experiment with something that is illegal due to the fact that parents usually do not allow their children to smoke if under the age of 18. This makes it even more appealing to younger people increase their chances of smoking as it becomes attractive.
• Teenagers usually try to smoke without being caught by their parents.
However, adults smoke for many other reasons such as
• They may experience a lot of stress and pressure due to economic and personal problems.
• They could be unemployed or be working but not making enough money to take care of themselves and their families.
• They may be homeless, or they may be dealing with alcohol or drug addicts.
• Some may be in bad marriages or relationships which involve physical and/or verbal abuse.
• An adult who smokes may feel relaxed or it can give them energy when going through a hard time. In common interest, most adults just generally enjoy smoking for the fun of it and the addiction.
What are the Short Term Side Effects of Smoking?
• Yellow fingers
• Breath, hair, clothes will smell of smoke
• Stained teeth
• Cough, allergies such as a runny nose, fever, itchiness, mucous build up
• Lack of athletic ability as time goes, as your lung capacity diminishes with a harder time staying active.
• Blood pressure increase
• Throat irritability.
What are the Long Term Side Effects of Smoking?
• Staining of the teeth will worsen
• Shaking fingers when in need of a cigarette
• Intense cravings the longer you go without a cigarette the more you will want one; getting near others who are smoking or smell like smoke can also trigger cravings easily.
• What was once an enjoyable habit will become a necessity
• More ragged breathing due to the scar tissue building up in your throat and your lungs.
• Respiratory system breaking down due to the smoking habit.
• Scar tissue can trigger cancer
What is Passive Smoking?
Passive smoking is very dangerous, especially for children. The best way to protect your loved ones is to quit smoking and make sure you have a smoke free house and car. When you smoke a cigarette (roll-up, pipe or cigar), most of the smoke is not all transferred into your lungs, it transfers into the air around you so anyone is vulnerable and can breathe in the smoke.
Passive smoking simply means the smoke that you exhale plus the side stream smoke created by the lit end of the cigarette. It is unpleasant for others to breathe in the air from smoking as it can affect them as well. In order to protect friends and family from second hand smoke it is best to keep a smoke free environment around them.
It is best to quit smoking completely, if you are not ready to quit then at least make every effort to keep your cigarette smoke away from other people and never smoke indoors or in the car. Always smoke outside, ask your visitors to smoke outside, don’t smoke in the car or allow anyone else to.
There are many risks to passive smoking as it is invisible and odourless most of the time, so no matter how careful you are being, people around you still breathe harmful poisons. Opening windows and doors or smoking in another room in the house does not protect people. Smoke can linger in the air for two or three hours after finishing a cigarette, even with a window open. Even if you limit smoking to one room, the smoke will spread to the rest of the house/building where people can inhale it.
Children are vulnerable to passive smoking due to the fact that they have less well developed airways, lungs and immune systems. This is also high risk in a family vehicle where the smoke can reach hazardous levels even with windows open. It is estimated that more than one in five children in the UK live in a household where at least one person smokes. As a result they are more likely to develop asthma, chest infections, meningitis, ear infections, coughs and colds.
How Can You Stop Smoking?
• Prepare for the day in which you quit smoking and avoid temptation. Choose a date that is unlikely to be stressful and make sure that you have no cigarettes, lighters or matches on you. Avoid any smoking areas where people around you might be smoking such as pubs, bars etc.
• Download the smoke free app for mobile support wherever you are and get expert advice. Talk to your local NHS stop smoking service, pharmacy team, doctor or nurse about stop smoking medicines that can help with nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
• Remember the reasons why you are quitting smoking which are feeling great, reduced health risks, extra money in your pocket, improved breathing and general fitness, fresher breath, an improved sense of smell and taste, less stress and anxiety, cleaner lungs and a stronger heart.
• Talk to someone a friend or relative to get support.
• Go out for a walk to help clear your head and lungs.
• Stay busy by downloading the Smoke free app or play a game on your mobile phone.
• Drink a glass of water or juice keeping you occupied for a crucial few minutes.
• Change scenery can help by moving around to another room or stepping outside and get some fresh air.
• Turn into vaping to quit smoking. E-cigarettes are available in all sorts of designs and flavours, keeping your hands busy to avoid tar, carbon monoxide, nicotine and other poisonous substances found in cigarettes. This means that E-cigarettes are often a safer alternative vaping with caution if it is controlled carefully.
• Use Quit Smoking treatments such as Champix.
If you stop smoking it can benefit your body in many different small ways. This involves when taking your last cigarette after twenty minutes your pulse rate turns to a normal rate. After eight hours oxygen levels return to normal and nicotine and carbon monoxide levels reduce by half. After two days (48 hours) there is no nicotine left in the body and the ability to taste and smell improves. Your risk of having a heart attack begins to reduce. After 2-12 weeks your circulation improves, after 3-9 months your lung function improves by 10% and coughing decreases. After 1 year the risk of heart disease is half, after 10 years the risk of lung cancer is half less than a smoker.
To find out more information about Stoptober awareness month visit