What is Stoptober?

September 7, 2016

Stoptober dedicates the month of October to stopping smoking. As the logo says “Stoptober, it’s like October but without cigarettes.” With more than eight million South Africans regularly smoking tobacco and 44 000 smoking related deaths every year, tobacco use has become a serious public health threat for our country.

Smoking, an easily learnt behaviour, is a complex combination of behaviours driven by social and psychological factors as well as pharmacological addiction. The average age people start to smoke is under 15 years. While most people start using tobacco for social and psychological reasons, the physical effects of nicotine soon initiate an addiction process. Once addicted the individual effectively loses freedom of choice and control over their behaviour. Surveys show that more than 70% of smokers would like to stop smoking but less than 3% manage to quit on their own.

Smokers need help to stop smoking and to increase their success rate a structured smoking cessation programme is required. The latest research indicates that a combination of support, behaviour modification and smoking cessation medication, such as nicotine replacement therapy, is the most effective intervention to help smokers stop smoking.

Many smokers have tried to stop smoking and have not succeeded leading to a sense of failure and a feeling of powerlessness over cigarettes. What we now know is that smokers may make many attempts before successfully stopping smoking and each unsuccessful attempt should be viewed as a step closer to the smoke-free goal rather than another failure.

Stoptober gives smokers who would like to quit smoking a reason to make one more quit attempt with the backing of a scientifically proven support programme to triple their chances of success. By concentrating effort into the 31 days of October, Stoptober aims to maximise awareness of the many health and wealth benefits of stopping smoking and to create an environment of support as large numbers of smokers all make a quit attempt together. Across the world similar campaigns have proven to be highly effective as smokers, ex-smokers and non-smokers all encourage those making an attempt to stop smoking during Stoptober.

So Stoptober provides a reason to quit, it consolidates support from colleagues, friends and family who may also attempt to quit with you and it has the GoSmokeFree Smoking Cessation programme which will maximise your chances of success.

There are 200 pharmacies and hundreds of trained nurses spread across South Africa available to provide the fully supported GoSmokeFree smoking cessation programme. This programme is evidence based and triples your chance of successfully quitting. During Stoptober visit a participating pharmacy and book a GoSmokeFree Assessment and take that first step towards a healthier, wealthier and happier you. Visit www.gosmokefree.co.za or email info@gosmokefree.co.za for more information.



  1. Robinson and D. Lader, “Smoking and drinking among adults 2007,” Office for National Statistics, Newport, 2008.
  2. T. Stead LF, “Cochrane Review: Combined pharmacotherapy and behavioural interventions,” 4 September 2012. [Online]. Available: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD008286.pub2/epdf/abstract. [Accessed 28 August 2015].
  3. &. S. C. I. C. -. HSCIC, “Statistics on NHS Stop Smoking Services in England,” 19 August 2014. [Online]. Available: http://www.hscic.gov.uk/catalogue/PUB14610/stat-stop-smok-serv-eng-2014-q4-rep.pdf. [Accessed 27 August 2015].


This article contains opinions and facts and references to other information sources. You should always consult a registered healthcare professional for any personal advice.

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