Football clubs, players and commentators from across the country are uniting to show their support for fans looking to quit smoking as Stoptober – the 28 day smokefree challenge - kicked off on 1st October.
The call comes from football clubs across the country as a new survey reveals that three quarters of football fans who smoke would like to quit (76%), increasing to 83% for the more avid fans who attend at least three football games per season. A strong desire (63%) has also been uncovered from fans for their club to help them kick the habit.
The support from football clubs will be paramount to helping fans embark on the quit smoking challenge as nearly half (48%) believe that the atmosphere around watching football gives them the urge to smoke and 50% would like the option to buy quitting aids at their club.
The research also uncovered football fans smoking habits; with almost two thirds (62%) lighting up on the way to a match.
To mark the start of Stoptober, one of the best things clubs could do to help their fans quit smoking is start winning, supporters being twice as likely to smoke more when their team is having a tough season (30% compared to 14%).
But even if their team isn’t winning, Stoptober can help people get through their quitting journey with lots of tips, advice and help with cravings. Stoptober offers a range of free support including an app, daily emails, Facebook Messenger and lots of encouragement from the Stoptober online community on Facebook.
People can try quitting using medication (including nicotine replacement therapies such as patches and gum) or e-cigarettes – and seek expert support via face-to-face advice from local stop smoking services. Those who use stop smoking aids and who get face-to-face support from their local stop smoking service are up to four times more likely to quit successfully.
To help encourage fans take part in Stoptober this year, football pundit Graeme Souness is featuring in a new short film which sees him giving smokers an inspiring pre-quitting dressing room talk which can be downloaded here.
Wendy Noble from the Oldham Athletic Community Trust said: “Oldham are thrilled to be supporting this year’s Stoptober campaign. People are encouraged to give up smoking for 28 days throughout the month of October, so we’re helping spread the message of the tons of support available for people this year.
"If people are thinking of taking part, search Stoptober online to find out more & massive good luck wishes to all the Oldham fans planning to take part this year.”
Stoptober is back for a sixth year, having driven over a million and a half quit attempts to date. It starts on the Sunday 1st October and is based on research that if you can quit for 28 days, you are 5 times more likely to stop for good – no matter how well your team does this season.
For more information, search ‘Stoptober’ and find all the support you need to quit smoking.