This week sees the start of Stoptober – an approach at helping people give up smoking. It is a 28-day challenge, and last year the campaign encouraged almost 250,000 people in the UK to quit smoking during the month of October. The campaign found few takers on the Goldsmiths campus, with four out of five students, who are smokers, not agreeing to take up the challenge.
We could only find one student who was willing to give it a try. The others had several personal reasons why they couldn’t. Most of them found it bizarre to give up smoking for a whole month.
Corradi, studying Media and Communications said that his mental health was more important to him than his body’s health, and cigarettes help to relax him.
Smith, also studying Media, claimed that he would only consider quitting after University, because he enjoys “smoking between lessons.” Only one person agreed to quitting for the month of October, but it took a great amount of convincing, as she was reluctant at first. I then convinced her that it would be a good idea.
Louca, studying Sociology, was the one willing student to take up the challenge. It took some convincing, but she finally agreed to it. Louca said that she would use the “28-day smartphone app”, which was created specifically for the Stoptober challenge. The app will help her keep on track by showing the benefits of her giving up smoking, and will give badges for important milestones, such as making it through the week without a cigarette. It will also provide her with tips on how to make it easier to stop the craving for that first cigarette of the day, or that first cigarette after a delicious meal, which she claims will be the most “difficult times to resist smoking.”
According to the Lewisham Council, 22% of the borough are smokers and Stoptober is the best way to “quit smoking in Lewisham” with the “Lewisham Stop Smoking Service”. There are group sessions, which are run daily during the month of October, where they will provide “behavioural support and highly effective stop smoking medications.” The campaign also claims that once quitting for a month, it makes the chances of quitting permanently five times more probable.
Being a smoker myself, I decided to have a go and also take part in this campaign.I will also be using the 28-day smartphone app to help me through it! From today onwards you will be able to follow me on Twitter (@Athena_Stylli) and see how I get along with Stoptober. If you are a smoker, join me this month in being part of an important national experience! You can also check EastLondonLines on Facebook for updates on my progress.