Comedy support act: Paddy McGuinness and Al Murray urge people to stub it out for Stoptober

Comedians Paddy McGuinness and Al Murray have added their encouraging voices to backsmokers trying to quit cigarettes for the Stoptober challenge, which begins today.

Most seasonal campaigns aim to raise money for various charities but Stoptober focuses on the individual, challenging smokers to give up the habit for 28 days, an achievement that would make them five times more likely to quit for good.

Launched by Public Health England, the campaign focuses on the benefits to smokers who kick the habit.

Paddy McGuinness offered his profound words of wisdom: “Let’s start now. I mean stop. You know what I mean. Just stop.”

The campaign offers toolkits and daily emails and text updates to help those quitting, statistics show there are some significant personal gains to be made from quitting for a month.

The average smoker has 13 cigarettes a day, adding up to 364 every month.

With the average cigarette taking four minutes to smoke, Stoptober could save the average smoker more than 24 hours of their time in a single month.

London comedian Andi Osho will be posting upbeat daily videos to encourage quitters and hopefully make them laugh through their nicotine withdrawal symptoms.

She told Stoptober: “Don’t think about what you’re giving up. Think about what you’ll gain. Money, sparkling teeth, better sex. Your life will be like every hip hop video EVER MADE!”

If having gleaming teeth and freeing up time was not enough, the financial benefits may persuade many to get involved.

On average, Stoptober would save you over £141 – which you could spend on one scoop of a glow in the dark ice cream made from jellyfish.

Of course, more serious statistics also endorse the importance of campaigns like this – such as the approximated 79,000 deaths each year attributed to smoking-related causes.

Last year, over 250,000 smokers signed up to try and kick the habit for a month, 65% managed to last the distance.

This year’s campaign will see a nationwide roadshow running from September 8 to October 11, offering advice and support to those stubbing out cigarettes for good.

With comedians leading the Stoptober campaign, this year’s feeling is a light-hearted one and the organisers encouraging people to share their humorous stories.

With approximately 8 million smokers in the UK, including 18% of London’s population, there is potential for this self-focused campaign to have nationwide repercussions.

Those interested in getting involved should visit Stoptober here.

Picture courtesy of Matt Trostle, with thanks

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