Publish date: 7 October 2021

If you are a smoker, quitting is the best thing you can do for your health and the health of those around you.

This year, more than ever, we are encouraging smokers to take part in Stoptober in an attempt to kick the habit for good. We really want to support you to change your lifestyle for the better. Stoptober, now in its tenth year, encourages people all over the country to break the habit and stop smoking for the month of October.

Our records are showing us that the number of smokers in Tameside has actually increased during the pandemic from 17% in 2018/19 to 18% in 2019/20. A new nationwide survey of 2,000 current smokers has found that nearly half (45%) have been smoking more since the first lockdown began. Key reasons reported are being bored in the lockdowns (43%) or the pandemic making them more anxious (42%).

What’s more, data from the monthly UCL Smoking Toolkit Study indicates a large increase in smoking among the under-35s since the coronavirus pandemic, up from 18% in 2019 to 24% now.

In Tameside there are around 32,000 adults, aged 18+, who smoke.  Among routine and manual workers the proportion of 18-64 year olds who smoke is 28.8%, this is a slight decrease on 2018/19 (28.9%).

Over 6 million adults in England still smoke, and it remains the leading cause of premature death, with almost 75,000 preventable deaths a year.

As a result of increased smoking behaviours, this year's Stoptober mass quit attempt is more important than ever, with quitting remaining one of the best things a smoker can do for their health.

That’s why this year’s Stoptober campaign is encouraging smokers to join the thousands of others who are giving quitting a go for the month of October, and getting to experience the benefits of giving up smoking including being able to start moving better, being able to breathe more easily and saving money.

Smokers in Tameside can get FREE stop smoking support through Be Well Tameside, which is a free NHS stop smoking service offering one-to-one support to help make lifestyle changes to improve overall health and wellbeing with regular contact and support, practical tips, information on local groups and help to access other local services. Telephone: 0161 716 2000 or email:

Stoptober offers a range of free quitting tools including: the NHS Quit Smoking app, Facebook messenger bot, Stoptober Facebook online communities, daily emails and SMS, and an online Personal Quit Plan. The Personal Quit Plan helps people find a combination of support that’s right for them, including expert support from local Stop Smoking Services and stop smoking aids.

Join the thousands of others and start your quitting journey this October. Visit ‘Stoptober’ for more information and free tools to help you quit.