Stoptober is back!

Published Monday, 1st October 2018

Stoptober is back and smokers in Hartlepool are being encouraged to give quitting another go – even if they’ve tried before.

Last year, nearly 400,000 smokers in England quit successfully, which is the equivalent to 1,069 smokers each day – one every 80 seconds.

Despite new smokers starting and ex-smokers relapsing, North East smoking rates have fallen by 44% since 2005 when 29% of North East adults smoked down to 16.2% of people in 2017 – around a quarter of a million fewer people smoking.

Stoptober 2018

Leanne Watson, Stop Smoking Facilitator (North of Tees Stop Smoking Service), Alison Johns, Specialist Stop Smoking Advisor (NoT SSS), Dr Peter Brambley, Interim Director of Public Health at Hartlepool Borough Council, Angela Newton, Specialist Stop Smoking Advisor (Pregnancy and Families, NoT SSS), Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, Chair of Hartlepool Borough Council’s Health and Wellbeing Board and Leader of the Council, and Ailsa Rutter, Director of Fresh Smokefree North East.

Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, Chair of the town's Health and Wellbeing Board and Leader of Hartlepool Borough Council said: “Stopping smoking is one of the most difficult things to do, but also one of the most rewarding for your health.

“I’d encourage people to sign up today to take the Stoptober challenge and quit smoking for good."

Dr Peter Brambleby, Hartlepool Borough Council’s Interim Director for Public Health, said:“We’re delighted to once again be supporting this year’s Stoptober campaign, encouraging smokers in Hartlepool to kick the habit for good.

“Recent research shows that almost 2,300 years of potential life are lost because of smoking-related illnesses in Hartlepool, whilst smoking-attributable hospital admissions are at an eight year high. The earlier a smoker quits, the better it is for their long-term health.

“No two people are the same, and therefore it’s important that smokers make a quit attempt with the support most suited to them. There is a wide range of quit aid choices available to choose from, so sign up today to take the Stoptober challenge and make this attempt your last.”

Ailsa Rutter OBE, Director of Fresh, said: “Most smokers would like to be able to quit. You stand a much better chance if you give quitting a serious go at least once a year until you can stop for good.

“The North East has seen the highest fall in smoking in England, and the best quitting success rates. In 2005, our adult smoking rates were on 29% and we are getting close to halving smoking.

“We’d urge smokers who have struggled to quit before to take heart from the hundreds of thousands of other people who have stopped for good.

“If we are to get smoking down to 10% and under, it will be vital that our GP surgeries and hospitals also play a major part to support smokers to quit with effective treatment.”

Six out of 10 smokers want to quit and most try to quit using willpower alone (or ‘cold turkey’). However, the most successful quit attempts use a combination of effective stop smoking support methods.

The best way to quit is with expert help from local stop smoking services together with stop smoking aids. In 2017-18, half (51%) of smokers who got this package of support managed to quit and among those who used an e-cigarette in their quit attempt, the success rate was up to 63%.

Stoptober is based on research that if you can make it to 28 days smokefree, you are five times more likely to quit for good. The new Personal Quit Plan will recommend a range of options to smokers including face-to-face support, nicotine replacement therapies like patches, gum or inhalers, and e-cigarettes.

E-cigarettes remain the nation’s favourite stop smoking aid, with an estimated 3.2 million adult users in Great Britain. Over time, the proportion who are ex-smokers has risen and over half (52%) of current vapers have stopped smoking completely. A further 900,000 people have given up both smoking and vaping.

Search ‘Stoptober’ to use the Personal Quit Plan and to find out about the range of free and proven support available to help you start your quitting journey on the 1st October.

For support and advice on quitting smoking in Hartlepool call the North Tees and Hartlepool Stop Smoking service on 01642 383819 or visit