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Get Ready For Stoptober
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Get Ready for Stoptober

You've probably seen the adverts, Stoptober is coming to the UK. With just over 2 weeks to go before October 1st, now is the time to get ready.

If you haven't seen or heard anything about it, and are wondering "What is Stoptober?" it is a nationwide effort to get as many smokers as possible to try and quit smoking for the month of October. Based on the popularity of events like "Movember", and the statistics that people who quit for 28 days are five times more likely to stay quit, the NHS has devised this scheme as a new way of encouraging as many smokers to stop as possible.

It is also coming off the back of a great summer for Britain and in particular British Sport, with national pride and coming togetherness on a high. It is truly a great time to try and quit.

Whether this will be your first time to quit, or one of many, I think you will be aware that having a lot of support will increase your chances of success, and the NHS are offering a great amount of support on their website. Furthermore, there is already a great amount of media coverage advertising it, and I'm sure this coverage will continue throughout the month to keep smokers strong.

As a recent non-smoker I have some concerns about Stoptober though. Don't misunderstand me, I think it is a great thing and many people will stop because of it, but simply stopping might not be enough without good preparation. If correct preparation doesn't happen, this is what the outcome might be:

There will be a great euphoria and high experienced in the first few days when smokers are surrounded by fellow Stoptober quitters, but once the novelty has started to wear off, the quitter experiences their first piece of stress of difficulty, or simply once it reaches the 15th of the month and everyone is sick of seeing Stoptober signs everywhere, the motivation for quitting will become lower and the desire to smoke again will increase and they will smoke again.

Some people will still struggle on until November, but will they last or will they just think "Phew, I survived 28 days, but why do I still desire to smoke so badly? It failed" and they will smoke again.

So, while this situation is a worst-case scenario, my own experiences with quitting where I told myself "I just have to last 3 weeks" ended this way, by the 3rd week all I wanted to do was smoke. Therefore, I think it is important to do some research and to properly commit to quitting.

Don't take the attitude "If I can just last 28 days I will stop forever" instead, take the attitude "I will never smoke again"

Don't think "If my friends don't last 28 days, It's OK for me to fail too" instead think "I have quit already"

Stoptober still represents a great chance for smokers out there who still want to quit, they just need to take the right approach.


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