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‚ÄčAnother year is another chance for Merton smokers to kick the habit and raise money for charity.

Stoptober is back and is urging smokers to join in the challenge that saw over 215,000 participants take part in 2015. Visit the NHS Smokefree website to find out more.

Public Health England (PHE) is behind the campaign based on research demonstrating that the smokers were 5 times more likely to quit permanently if they achieve 28 days without smoking.

Dr Dagmar Zeuner, Merton CCG Governing Body member and Director of Public Health Merton, urged smokers to sign up early in preparation for the challenge.

"Making the positive decision to quit is the first and most crucial step on the road to achieving total smoking cessation."

"As far as preventable disease is concerned quitting smoking is by far the best thing an individual can do for their health."

Stoptober sets clear goals, provide support and participants get to feel they are not alone in their efforts. Additionally you can hand pick from a range of tools provided including support packs, face to face consultations and a number of digital apps and services.

Official figures show that smoking in England has dropped by 37% in 30 years. The NHS is committed to seeing smoking figures drop further still.

Here are 10 ways that your health will improve if you quit smoking:

  • Breathing easy: Lung capacity improves by up to 10% within nine months of quitting.
  • More energy: Quitting boosts your immune system, improves blood circulations and increases oxygen in your body, making all physical activity easier.
  • Stress less: While people often smoke in times of stress, nicotine withdrawal itself heightens stress significantly.
  • Better sex: Trouble in the bedroom? Quitting can help with erectile dysfunction and generally improves sensitivity in males and females.
  • Improving fertility: Quitting smoking improves the lining of the womb and the potency of men's sperm.
  • Smell and taste: Your sense of smell and taste improves when you quite smoking.
  • The skin you're in: Smoking causes wrinkles and facial ageing.
  • Teeth and breath: Your teeth are whiter and your breath is sweeter when you quit.
  • Live fast, die old: Half of all smokers die as a result of their habit.
  • Family and friends: secondhand smoke harms your loved ones.

Your GP or an NHS stop smoking adviser can provide information, support, advice and medication options where indicated to help you stop smoking. If you would like help to stop smoking, speak to your GP, pharmacist or contact Livewell Merton on 0208 973 3545 or You can also visit our website for information on our drop in clinics: