Stoptober, the first ever mass quit attempt for smokers has been launched bu the Department of Health.
The National campaign calls for all smokers to quit for 28 days and was announced by chief medical officer Professor Dame Sally Davies.
The innovative campaign comes as smoking remains the biggest killer in England with half of long-term smokers dying prematurely from smoking related diseases.
Stoptober which takes place from 1 October and is backed by Cancer Research UK and British Heart Foundation is the first 28 day quit attempt of its kind to encourage the nation’s eight million smokers to make the step towards a smokefree future.
Smokers are receiving support and encouragement through TV and radio advertising, plus a daily messaging service and roadshows around the country.
Professor Dame Sally Davies said: ‘Smoking is still the biggest cause of premature death in England, taking more than 100,000 lives in the UK every year.
‘This is the first time that we have launched a mass quit attempt like Stoptober. I would encourage people who want to quit to get involved.
‘To join in, look for Stoptober online, or ask your local pharmacist and get your free support pack and lots of other helpful hints and tips.’
Research shows those who stop smoking for 28 days are five times more likely to stay smokefree.
Stoptober will lend a hand to help smokers achieve this goal. The new campaign is also supported by the Stoptober app (available free via Smartphone) as well as the Smokefree Facebook page with additional tips and advice. The giant Stoptober wheel will tour the country throughout Stoptober and encourage smokers everywhere to stop smoking and take part.
Stoptober 2012 kicks off on Monday 1 October and runs for 28 days. For more information and to join the biggest stop smoking challenge of its kind, visit smokefree.nhs.uk/Stoptober.