According to Action on Smoking & Health, more than a million people in the UK stopped smoking during the Covid-19 lockdown! A few months on and we are in Stoptober, the biggest Stop Smoking campaign in the UK and possibly the world!
Smoking is one of the leading risk factors for premature death and disability and is estimated to kill six million people each year! Mass media smoking campaigns such as Stoptober have been extremely effective in saving lives and helping to reduce this burden on healthcare providers.
So what is the background of Stoptober?
Stoptober is a national stop smoking campaign based on behaviour change theory. It operates through both traditional and new media and was launched across England during late 2012. In addition to attempting to start a movement in which smokers would quit at the same time in response to a positive mass quitting trigger, the campaign set smokers the goal of being smoke-free for October and embodied other psychological principles too!
Rather than focusing on the harms of smoking, Stoptober aims to create a positive mass quitting trigger and actively supports a social movement around a very specific activity: stopping smoking for 28 days!
The idea behind the event is based on evidence that shows that after 28 days without a cigarette smokers are as much as five times more likely to give up smoking for good!
It is widely recognised that giving up smoking is an extremely difficult task for some however with the wealth of support available through the Stoptober scheme itself, friends, family, the NHS and other participants, as well as resources such as social media channels and more it is clear to see why Stoptober is successful!
What are the benefits?
Smoking cigarettes is harmful to your health and the health of others around you, not to mention the environment and your bank account! None of these are facts that are disputed but thousands of people are still struggling to find the will-power to quit. Stoptober offers a wealth of support to help people achieve their goal of quitting smoking and enjoy the many health, wellbeing and financial benefits of quitting smoking.
Why should you become an OTC Stop Smoking Expert?
This Stop Smoking Course will help you give customers appropriate advice and make confident recommendations, preparing you for any national awareness campaigns so that you can promote your service! Pharmacies are at the forefront of the Stoptober campaign and are the nations first point of contact when embarking on such a challenge therefore as pharmacists it is our duty to be well equipped to be able to provide the best possible advice.
Our course will enable you to:
- use national awareness campaigns to promote the pharmacy’s involvement in stop smoking services
- communicate the risks associated with smoking to customers
- advise customers on how to go about stopping smoking
- recommend appropriate products to people that want to quit
- support customers on their journey!
5 things you can do to help your customers quit!
- Remind people why Stoptober works – its been shown that people who quit for 28 days are 5 times more likely to quit for good!
- Use the Stoptober promotional materials so people know you are there to help – get them from PHE or from your local public health body.
- Remember to make every contact count (MECC) – why not use coronavirus as a conversation starter about how quitting can help reduce complications
- Use a person-centred approach to NRT – listen to their smoking habits and recommend a product that best increases their chances of quitting
- Signpost customers to support sites – they can then get ongoing support on their quit journey between visits to the pharmacy, the Stoptober App is a good place to start!
If you are looking to gain some more knowledge on how to help your patients quit smoking or you are looking to gain a deeper understanding on how these campaigns work then we’ve got some exciting news for you! We are offering a wide range of new courses this month including an Expert Stop Smoking Course to help you get ready for Stoptober! Simply give us a call to find out more! We look forward to helping you get the training that you need!
Sign up for our Expert Stop Smoking Training today!