Is Stoptober actually effective?

 

From something that started in October 2012, Stoptober is a huge campaign which is about to join us again for October 2017. 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.

 

Those making a change in their life

Stoptober has seen the involvement of many participants around the UK, as proven with a high search volume on Google.

The word ‘Stoptober’ had around 18,100 monthly searches on Google 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.

We can see from trends provided by Google UK that this has followed a similar path. 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.

As this is an annual campaign that takes place in October, it is obvious that we see a heightened search volume in the leading months up to October. However, what effect does the initiative have on related keywords?

Nicotinell, suppliers of different stop smoking essentials, take a look into the different trends:

 

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.

 

The phrase ‘stop smoking’ had the highest searches in September and October since 2013 – except in 2016. Only January achieves higher search volume, when New Year’s resolutions take precedence.

 

Product searches

In the UK, we have seen an average 1,000 searches for ‘nicotine gum’ between August 2013 and 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.

 

Brand searches

When considering brand name searches, we can see that ‘Nicotinell’ had 720 searches between August 2013 – July 2017 in the UK. 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.

 

Helping smokers quit!

There was a 20% success rate of people quitting smoking in 2015. Out of 2.5 million smokers, 500,000 were successful — becoming the highest 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, is Stoptober the best way to stop smoking when looking at the results? 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, from the British Heart Foundation, said: “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.”

 

Sources:

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