words by Elisabeth Fisher, as part of the stoptober campaign

It has been said that it takes 21 days to learn a new habit, or get rid of an old one. With this in mind, a few years ago Stoptober was launched, an NHS campaign to support and guide those people committed to kicking smoking to the curb once and for all. The campaign runs for 28 days, during October, and provides quitters with a vast archive of guides and handy tips to help them through the 28 days, and beyond. Research shows that those people who manage to go smoke free for 28 days are five times more likely to stay smoke free. In 2012 over 160,000 people successfully complete the four-week challenge.

Although the 28 day campaign gets people well on their way to living a life without nicotine, the hard work is most certainly over once 1st November rolls round. Trying these simple tricks might just be the key to keeping up with a smoke free 2014 and onwards:

Making a list. The compulsion to smoke can at times be entirely overwhelming, but highlighting, out loud if necessary, three reasons for quitting can help to remind you when you feel weak.

Carrying around a picture of the people in your life who are supporting your journey; have them there as a daily reminder of the reason you are quitting, and the extra time and money you will have to spend with them if you are smoke free.

Writing on post it notes the things you hate most about smoking and stick them to your bathroom mirror, then every morning as you are brushing your soon to be stain free teeth, you will be reminded of the worst aspects of smoking, be it the smell, cost or horrendous health implications.

Of course it isn’t just the health benefits that arise from kicking the habit, the long-term impact on things like health insurance is most certainly a positive one. Michael Day, Marketing Manager at Endsleigh had this to say about living life smoke free: “The health benefits of stopping smoking are well-documented, but in addition to that, it can have a positive effect on life insurance policies and quotes, so this should act as a good incentive for people to quit. The NHS has launched Stoptober in an effort to support those wishing to give up smoking and to highlight the importance of living a smoke-free life. Endsleigh whole-heartedly supports this campaign and those taking part.” There are numerous support systems available to those quitting smoking, including the NHS and local GPs, as well as online resources and support groups. To find out the best way to go smoke-free, contact your GP.