How effective has Stoptober been?

The sixth edition of Stoptober is upon us. Running throughout October, the 28-day event was set up by Public Health England to encourage people to stop smoking from the start of October.

To find out how successful Stoptober has been over the years, Nicotinell, manufacturers of a variety of stop smoking products, has examined the following research:

How Stoptober is helping people to begin their quit

Search volume and Google Trends data around relevant keywords linked to the Stoptober campaign provides plenty of insight into how popular this Public Health England initiative has become.

For example, the average monthly search volume for the term ‘Stoptober’ in the UK was 18,100 between August 2013 and July 2017. However, spikes for this keyword were recorded in September and October of each year analysed; the highest of which was with 266,570 searches in September 2014, followed by 87,410 searches in October 2014.

UK Google Trends data follows a similar pattern. Where 100 refers to peak popularity, interest in Stoptober over time has seen interest peaking at 100 for the week of September 29th to October 5th 2013 when analysing the last five years of search data. There was also a score of 80 recorded in the week of September 28th to October 4th 2014— the highest score across the whole of 2014—and a score of 67 in the week of September 27th to October 3rd 2015, which was the highest score achieved for the entirety of 2015.

Of course, it is to be expected that Stoptober would achieve spikes in search volume around September and October due to the timing of the annual campaign. However, what effect does the initiative have on related keywords?

Stop smoking

The average search volume for the keyword ‘stop smoking’ in the UK was 14,800 searches for the period covering August 2013 to July 2017. However, the following are spikes which have been seen for this keyword over the past few years:

  • There were 60,320 searches in September 2013.
  • 57,630 searches in October 2013.
  • 49,100 searches in September 2014.
  • 51,670 searches in October 2014.
  • 53,470 searches in September 2015.
  • 53,160 searches in October 2015.
  • 46,210 searches in September 2016.
  • 47,770 searches in October 2016.

In fact, apart from 2016, September and October has been among the top three months for the highest search volume for the keyword ‘stop smoking’ since 2013 — only the month of January achieves higher search volume, when New Year’s resolutions take precedence.

Nicotine gum

The average search volume for the keyword ‘nicotine gum’ in the UK was 1,000 searches for the period covering August 2013 to July 2017. However, the following are among the spikes which have been seen for this keyword over the past few years:

  • There were 3,820 searches in October 2013 — a higher search volume than any month from August 2013 to and including December 2013.
  • 4,010 searches in September 2014 — the third highest search volume of the year, behind October 2014 and January 2014.
  • 4,280 searches in October 2014.


The average search volume for the brand name ‘Nicotinell’ in the UK was 720 searches for the period covering August 2013 to July 2017. However, the following are among the spikes which have been seen for this keyword over the past few years:

  • There were 1,460 searches in November 2013 — a higher search volume than for any month from August 2013 to and including December 2013. For this statistic, it is worth bearing in mind that while Stoptober is a campaign helping to get people to stop smoking for a 28-day period in October, those who take part in the campaign and aim to continue their efforts past this initiative are sure to find nicotine replacement products a great help.
  • 1,690 searches in November 2014 — the third highest search volume of the year, behind January 2014 and August 2014.

How Stoptober is helping people to achieve their quit

A press release by Public Health England, which was sent out ahead of the 2016 Stoptober campaign, contains many interesting statistics around making the UK a smoke-free nation.

For instance, 500,000 of the 2.5 million smokers who made a quit attempt in 2015 were successful — this is a success rate of 20 per cent, which is the highest recorded success rate on record. Public Health England was also keen to spotlight Nielsen data which revealed that the number of cigarettes that were sold in England and Wales dropped by 20 per cent between 2014 and 2016.

So, how does Stoptober play a role in the quit smoking journey of so many Brits? The reasoning behind the campaign, which saw more than 215,000 smokers sign up for the 2015 initiative alone, can help to answer this. The idea behind the event is tied in with evidence that smokers are five times more likely to give up smoking for good after they have gone 28 days without a cigarette.

Dr Mike Knapton, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, believes an ‘everyone in it together’ mindset proves beneficial too. He explains: “Stoptober is the perfect opportunity for people to take action to protect their health and join thousands of others who are also making a quit attempt this month.”



Spend Or Save? Making The Right Decisions For Your Family

Keeping your finances in check is no mean feat, especially when you have a family and you’re trying to think about both the present and the future. We all go through times when we have more or less money than usual, and sometimes, you have to make decisions about whether to spend or save. If you’re keen to take a firmer hold on your family’s finances, this guide should prove useful.

The benefits of budgeting

Before you think about spending money or making a payment to your savings account, check your balances and have a look through your monthly budget. If you don’t budget at home already, making plans can make life much easier. If you know what you’ve got coming in and what’s going out, this can help you work out how much disposable income you have and how much you can afford to save. Budgeting is very simple, it doesn’t take long, and you can update your budget as you go to ensure that it’s always accurate. If you tend to fall short by the end of the month on a regular basis, budgeting could be particularly beneficial for you. It helps to prevent overspending and enables you to spread your money over a period of time more effectively.

Speculating to accumulate

If you read finance articles frequently, you’ll come across lots of advice about saving money whenever it’s possible to do so. This is a wise thing to do, but sometimes, you may find yourself in a position where it may be beneficial to speculate to accumulate. Consider scenarios such as moving up the property ladder or making improvements to your home, which will add value in the long-term. If you’re renting and you’re thinking about buying a house, for example, it’s worth looking into your options. If you can get a deposit together, you may find that you’ll pay a lot less for your mortgage than you do in rent and you’ll be investing in an asset that you own. Likewise, if you need more space at home, spending money on an extension or an attic conversion could boost your coffers when you come to sell. If this option sounds appealing, you may find this article interesting

If you can’t afford to finance the next step, think carefully about your borrowing options and research lenders. You can find information about and other providers online. Before you sign on any dotted lines, make sure you can afford the repayments and ensure that the move makes financial sense. If you plan to convert the loft, for example, ask some agents and builders to come and give you quotes for building work and an estimated valuation once work is complete.

Living within your means

We’d all like to be in a situation where we can live comfortably and save at the same time, but this is not always possible. It’s most important to live within your means. If you’re paying the bills, but you’re not saving, don’t beat yourself up. It’s more important to avoid debt and bad credit scores than to try and save money you don’t have.

Managing your finances can be tricky, especially if you’re trying to live on a single income, you struggle to get from one month to the next, or you’re trying to clear debt. Hopefully, this guide will help you make the right decisions for your family.


What’s On Your Halloween To-Do List?

Jack always looks forward to October every year as it means Halloween has rolled around once again. He loves the 31st of October and everything leading up to it – the parties, the dressing up, the trick or treating.

We’ve got a few things planned this month including an adults only evening out to a local Halloween event but also plenty of things we can do as a family from watching scary films, giving out sweets to trick or treaters, trick or treating ourselves and playing some Halloween games.

The team at Personalised Gifts Shop have created a fantastic Halloween To-Do list which gives you some brilliant ideas for what to do on the day and in the run up to Halloween. They have even included some fab non carve ways to decorate pumpkins, a list of spooky films, some recipes and some songs too! You can download the pack for yourself here.

This has given us plenty of ideas to run alongside the other things we already had planned. We love this time of year and with it being Olivia’s first Halloween, we want it to be lots of fun. Plenty of our friends have Halloween parties so I will definitely be getting them to download the pack for themselves to give them some fresh ideas for their parties. After all, we all want to have some spooky fun, right?

We’ve got a number of different things on our Halloween to do list now and hope to achieve them all – spooky films every weekend in the run up to the day, some spooky music and visiting some fantastic Halloween attractions nearby – we may even pop to Warwick Castle to do the Halloween challenge there, eek! Wish us luck!

What have you got planned for Halloween this year? Are you trick or treating or do you have something else in mind?


When The Honeymoon Period Ends

So many people flake out of relationships when the ‘honeymoon period’ ends. They just can’t hack it that their relationship may not always be sunshine and roses but a good relationship makes it through the tough times even stronger.

What can you do to keep that fire burning when this period of happiness finally comes to an end? It isn’t to say that you can’t be happy but this honeymoon period allows for you to truly embrace each others company, love spending every minute with them and never getting annoyed. Once it ends you may find yourself getting irritated by the smallest little things that they do – that’s when you know your honeymoon period has finally finished.

You don’t want to be one of those flakey types and quit your relationship without giving it a good go. You want to give your relationship a shot so don’t be tempted to let it all go.

Take the time to make it work. Make an effort. Go on dates, spend time talking to each other and be interested in what you have to say. Whether you met them on one of the best dating sites around and they were super popular or you were, don’t think you can go back and relive the same glory. You two may be truly meant for each other and you will never know unless you give it a try. Whether you met at a dating agency Manchester or a Kent dating site or a Norfolk dating site or you’re an Aussie and gave Gold Coast dating a try, you decided to enter into a relationship with that person so make sure you keep those fires burning.

Both of you need to make an effort to keep the relationship alive once the honeymoon period ends – you don’t want the relationship to go down in flames. Spend time with each other, truly getting to know each other and who knows? Maybe next year we will hear wedding bells.


Long Distance Love: Can It Work?

Long distance love is becoming an ever common thing nowadays – but can it truly work? People meet once on holiday, hit it off and then find out they leave opposite ends of the country – or even worse, in completely different countries. Can they really keep the love burning being so far away from each other?

With the internet offering so much more now, especially in the way of dating, there is even more potential to meet a long distance lover. You could be looking for Canberra singles whilst holidaying in Australia and then journey back home having found the man or woman of your dreams. You may be looking at the best dating sites around and find the right person for you but find out that they leave ages away.

Many of us choose to visit our location specific dating sites such as a Staffordshire dating site, trying out a dating agency London style or even an Aberdeen dating site so we wouldn’t think of meeting a long distance lover on there…but it is possible. People may only be living in the area for a little while but still want to look for love and why shouldn’t they be able to?

Can long distance love work though? Yes – it truly can make your love stronger if you are truly meant for each other. It can be difficult to trust someone when you aren’t physically with them but if you trust them wholeheartedly then that is probably a lot stronger than many relationships that aren’t long distance because they don’t have the trust. You also appreciate your partner more as you can’t physically be with them every day and you actually have to talk to each other to find out what has been going on in their life – something that doesn’t happen so much if you are living in each others pockets.

So in conclusion, yes long distance relationships can work.You just need to work on them and be in them for the long haul. Could you do it?