What is Stoptober? Top 10 insights

Stoptober is an NHS campaign to persuade people to stop smoking throughout the month of October. Those who take part are encouraged to stop smoking and are offered support tools throughout their quitting journey.

During the four week period the campaign drip feeds a range of statistical Stoptober messaging to help a positive change in behaviour. We have summarised our top 10 insights into this successful annual health awareness campaign.


10 insights into the Stoptober campaign

1. Campaign challenge – the aim is to stop smoking cigarettes for October to gain financial, social and health benefits in a mass 28-day stop smoking challenge, it is backed up by a huge number of supporters – including celebrities, charities, sports clubs and stop smoking services.

2. How many smoke – there are approximately 10 million adults in Britain who smoke cigarettes; however, research shows that those who stop smoking for 28 days are five times more likely to stay smokefree.

3. Campaign costs – the campaign cost £5.7 million and was considered a success in 2013, so far nearly 200,000 people have pledged to take part this year (2014).

4. Years saved – research shows smokers lose on average 16 years of their life compared with non-smokers; those ex-smokers that have already given up could add 4,700 years to their lives.

5. How many a day – the average smoker has 13 cigarettes a day, which equates to 364 cigarettes every 4 weeks and around five per cent of British men smoke more than 20 a day.

6. How many die – in the UK, around 114,000 people die every year from smoking-related illnesses and it remains one of the biggest causes of death and illness.

7. Digital campaign toolkit – Stoptober participants are provided with a support pack, mobile app with distracting games, and motivating texts and social media posts throughout the month.

8. Money saved – the average price of a packet of cigarettes is £7.98; if existing smokers stopped smoking it would collectively add £34.5 million to their wallets.

9. Campaign evaluation – last year’s campaign (2013) performed well, the advertising achieved awareness of 92% – the highest for any smokefree campaign in five years; 463,770 Quit Kits were distributed online and through pharmacy partners; 250,000 took part and 65 per cent quit for 28 days.

10. Cancer killer – smoking is the UK’s biggest cancer killer, 90 per cent of lung cancers are caused by smoking, it has a 33% survival rate; smoking can cause other cancers such as bladder, kidney and pancreas.

Stoptober is created and funded in England by Public Health England. The NHS said that last year (2013) more than 160,000 people managed to stop smoking for the month of October. You can register www.smokefree.nhs.uk/stoptober for 2014. Share your healthcare marketing campaign thoughts below or on Twitter.

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