The research comes in time for the national Stoptober campaign that encourages smokers to quit for the month of October. This year’s campaign will focus healthily on the lifestyle improvements of quitting, and NHS GP, Dr Dawn Harper, highlighted: ‘a range of benefits from easier breathing to reduced coughing to better tasting food’.
According to the new study, 45% of ex-smokers noticed an increase in energy, while 42% saw an improvement in their breathing. Additionally, many felt generally healthier once they quit. In addition to boosted energy levels and breathing, many survey respondents also noticed a return of their sense of taste and an improved ability to exercise.
There are financial gains for those who quit too. The average smoker spends around £2,000 a year on the habit, however 34% of the ex-smokers that partook in the survey noted a saving in money. ‘When people quit smoking, the benefits are huge - they are healthier, wealthier and pressure on the NHS eases,’ said Health Minister, Neil O’Brien.
Smoking remains the biggest cause of preventable illness and death in England, with the cost to the NHS of treating diseases caused by smoking sitting at around £1.9 billion a year. Now in its 12th year, The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities’ (OHID) national Stoptober campaign encourages smokers to quit for the month of October. The campaign is based on evidence that smokers are five times more likely to quit for good if they make it to 28 days smoke-free.
‘Over the past 12 years Stoptober has helped over 2 and a half million people quit. However, while smoking rates are in decline, there are over 5 million adults in England who still smoke, so it’s vital we support everyone to go smoke free,’ explained Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England, Dr Jeanelle de Gruchy. The Stoptober initiative is part of the Government’s aim to become Smokefree by 2030 and is set to begin on 1st October.