With October due to begin there is just one day remaining to sign up for the Stoptober campaign and quit smoking for 28 days. Realising that the urge to give in to the temptation may be compelling for many current smokers, a raft of celebrities are throwing their weight behind the effort to add a much-needed fun element to proceedings. Rhod Gilbert and the self-proclaimed “Pub Landlord”, Al Murray are just two of the stars hoping to persuade people to put their cigarettes away for the month and perhaps beyond.

Stop for a month, more likely to give up completely

Although you could ask why stopping for a month makes such a difference, statistics suggest that should a former smoker abstain that long then they are five times more likely to stop completely.

Some incentive in itself given the potential health benefits of being ‘Smokefree’, but it won’t be easy.

Sign up and get free support

Recognising how hard it is to give up, there is a wealth of free support available for those who sign up and a downloadable app to track your progress. Stoptober experiences can be shared via the dedicated Facebook page and a free stop smoking pack is sure to offer words of good advice.

That may not be enough though for some and hence the personal encouragement from many of the country’s familiar comics and funnymen:

  • Rhod Gilbert - the Welsh comedian and former host of Never Mind the Buzzcocks will be texting those who need some ‘tough love’.
  • Shappi Khorsandi – the Iranian-born stand-up comic will be adopting a slightly softer approach in her comforting emails.
  • Bill Bailey – for those who may favour being distracted from the nicotine urge, Bill is probably your man to help keep your mind on other things.
  • Al Murray – fresh from his dalliance in the UK’s general elections, Al intends to offer his own particular brand of good old common sense.

With the catchy strapline “This time it’s personal!” the Public Health England campaign is aiming to capture the imagination of thousands of would-be quitters.

Stoptober has been hugely successful in the past, with nearly half a million people stopping smoking for a period of 28 days or more as a result of previous campaigns.

Across the length and breadth of England, let’s see how many will take up the challenge and succeed this year from 1st October.