Stop smoking in Stoptober!

Stop smoking this month.
Stop smoking this month.

Stoptober is back and the Public Health Agency (PHA) is supporting the campaign by urging all smokers in Northern Ireland to take part and quit for good.

Smoking is the single greatest cause of preventable illness, premature death and health inequality throughout Northern Ireland and sadly one in every two smokers will die of a tobacco-related disease.

Gerry Bleakney, Strategic Lead for Tobacco Control with the PHA, said: “Stopping smoking is the single most important thing you can do for your health. Stoptober provides a perfect opportunity to give up your habit and enjoy both the health and financial benefits that stopping will bring.”

Research has shown that people who go without smoking for 28 days are five times more likely to stop for good, so use Stoptober as the first step on your path to better health.

Gerry continued: “While we know that stopping smoking can be very difficult, help is at hand – there are over 650 free stop smoking specialist services across Northern Ireland in community pharmacies, GP surgeries, hospitals, community and voluntary organisations and workplaces that can help with your quit attempt.

“Studies have found that smokers are four times more likely to succeed in quitting with help from stop smoking services than if they go it alone. To stand an even better chance of quitting, local people are encouraged to sign up with their friends, family and colleagues, as evidence reveals that this type of ‘social quitting’ can dramatically improve people’s chances of successfully stopping.

“Giving up smoking is often tough and different approaches will work for different people. While some people might be able to do it with very little support, others find that planning ahead and making use of the stop smoking support services that are available can really help make their decision permanent. That’s why it is good to plan an approach to stopping that is most likely to work for you.

“If you quit and then relapse, accept it, work out why it happened, and focus on how you can avoid it in the future. It takes several efforts for many people to quit for good, but if you are determined, you will do it. Last year thousands of people decided to make a stop attempt using the PHA’s stop smoking services, and many others did so on their own. Sign up to Stoptober and start your journey to a healthier you.”

For more information and useful tips to stop smoking, to order a quit kit or to find your local stop smoking service visit the PHA’s ‘Want 2 Stop’ website at or follow us on Facebook at