MORE than 9,000 people across Cheshire and Merseyside joined a quarter of a million people in the UK to give up cigarettes during the stop smoking challenge, Stoptober.

In Halton and Merseyside, 7187 people signed up.

Research shows that stopping smoking for 28 days can extend your life by up to one week if you remain smokefree.

If the new ex-smokers succeed in quitting for good, they could collectively add as much as 538 years of life to the population.

Matthew Ashton, lead on tobacco control for Cheshire and Merseyside, said: “It’s great news that so many people have decided to try and quit.

“We know it can be hard. If you missed Stoptober or found it difficult to stay smokefree in October, it’s never too late to start your own 28 day quit attempt. There is still a wide range of support available.

For more information, visit or call 0800 022 4 332 to be put through to your local stop smoking service.