This year's Stoptober campaign was launched on Friday 12th September. British comedians, including Paddy McGuinness, Al Murray and Simon Brodkin, appeared in the TV launch and are touring around the country until 11th October to encourage people to sign up.
Evidence shows that if a smoker can go 28 days without a cigarette, they are 5 times more likely to stay permanently smoke free.
Commenting on the launch of the campaign, Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, said:
"The campaign's theme this year is comedy but sadly lung cancer is no laughing matter and it remains the UK's biggest cancer killer. The good news is that the survival rate is at the highest ever level and the smoking prevalence rate is lower than ever before. But we need to continue with the battle and that's why this campaign is so important.
"The 2013 campaign, which is led by Public Health England, saw 250,000 people take part and 65% of those who took part successfully quit for 28 days. Stoptober provides smokers with a range of free support including a new stop smoking pack, a mobile phone app, text messages, quitting advice and tips for coping, as well as the encouragement and support from thousands of people quitting together through Stoptober social media channels."
How pharmacies can get involved
You can order the Stoptober toolkit free of charge to support the campaign and encourage England's smokers to join the challenge by calling 0300 123 1019. The order line is open Monday to Friday, from 8am to 6pm, until 28th October 2014 or whilst stocks last.
Why get involved?
Public Health England says that Stoptober provides a great opportunity for a conversation starter with customers on quitting. It gives pharmacy teams a fantastic and engaging way to discuss products, tailor advice and introduce smoking cessation services.