Quit Smoking Challenge - FAQs

We’re asking supporters to quit smoking for the entire month of January, with a view to permanently stop smoking long-term. 

Every day of January 2023.

Whilst we encourage everyone to complete this challenge in January, this is a personal challenge and you can start your challenge and quit smoking journey at a time that is right for you. 

Smoking includes cigarettes, roll your own, Shisha/Hookah, Betel Leaf, paan. Basically, any product that contains tobacco!

Yes, e-cigarettes are far less harmful than cigarettes and can help some people who smoke to stop. Because they are a relatively new product, we don’t yet know their long-term impacts, so they should not be used by people who have never smoked.

We know it’s hard to quit, especially at the beginning and it usually takes people many attempts to stop smoking for good. If you do start smoking again, your free local stop smoking service, GP or pharmacist can support you to get yourself back on track by thinking about what got in the way of staying smokefree, and how you might stop it happening again. The money that you fundraise will allow Cancer Research UK to continue to fund life-saving research and we can’t thank you enough.

Smoking is the biggest cause of cancer in the world. Smoking releases over 5,000 different chemicals into our body, these harmful chemicals enter our lungs and can then affect the entire body. These chemicals damage our DNA, including parts which protect against cancer. Other chemicals make it harder for cells to repair DNA damage. This DNA damage can cause cancer in cells.

For more information please see our website here: How does smoking cause cancer?

Lots of people find it difficult to stop smoking, so you’re not alone. It’s a good idea to get advice and make a plan before you start. Your free local stop smoking service, GP or pharmacist can give you advice on tools to help you quit such as prescription medication, nicotine replacement products (e.g. patches, gums and sprays) and e-cigarettes.  It usually takes someone a few tries before they stop smoking for good, so if you’re not successful at first, keep trying. For people taking part in this challenge, there’s a private Facebook group where you can share your progress, tips and challenges along the way too. 

There are lots of options available to help you stop smoking. Treatment and support at your local free stop smoking service give you the best chance of success. See the following links to find out about different options that will help you succeed: 

How do I stop smoking?

NHS stop smoking services help you quit  

We’re very grateful to everyone who signs up to stop smoking to raise money for our life-saving research. We understand that this is a difficult time for many people, and so the decision to continue to support us must be a personal one based on individual circumstances.

Once you have signed up, join the Facebook group dedicated to this challenge: 

Cancer Research UK’s Quit Smoking Challenge Facebook Group

Click 'Join Group'. Get inspired by other people completing this challenge and find out anything you want to know about the challenge. Once you're in, you can complete a form to get your Online Giving Page to raise money online. See here: 

Sign up to the challenge

Use our handy Quit Smoking calendar to tick off the days you’ve not smoked. Remember to post your progress into the group to let other participants know how you’re getting on.  

Unfortunately, medals come at a huge cost to the charity so we will not be sending these out. However, we will send all supporters a certificate* and you can access digital badges to shout about your achievement on social.



*materials will be provided in the folder to send to supporters but also hosted within the group, landing page, and sent via email communications 

Sending out your t-shirt comes at a cost to Cancer Research UK so please only order one t-shirt to ensure as much fundraising goes towards our life-saving research. We ask if you do request a t-shirt that you set up an Online Fundraising page and make a donation to your page. 

Unfortunately, it costs Cancer Research more money to return the t-shirt, therefore, we ask that you keep hold of it for personal use (for example bed, gym, give to a friend, etc). If you would like a replacement, please visit our online shop

If someone contacts CRUK that they’ve ordered their T-shirt, but the registration is closed, a small quantity will available on Web shop. If registrations are still open, we would recommend they go through this channel: shop.cancerresearchuk.org/product/cancer-research-uk-t-shirt 

There is not a minimum amount of fundraising that we set for participants. We recommend that supporters set themselves a target, normally of £150, but also understand that this will be different for everyone, and any amount fundraised is amazing.

Follow a link here to our fundraising hub for plenty of ideas and materials to get those donations rolling in. 

You can add an offline donation onto your own page and send this donation through to us as a cheque, along with the sponsorship form.

We trust you! You don’t need to provide evidence that you’ve completed the challenge to us. Updating your friends and family on your fundraising page is important! Make sure you keep them posted on your progress and share videos and photos throughout January– the more updates the better. Supporters who regularly post their progress raise on average 40% more.

We have plenty of fundraising tools and ideas to help you raise life-saving donations. Please see our fundraising hub with everything you need from the challenge here.

Donating on Facebook is safe and secure and there is no fee taken from Facebook to set up a Facebook Fundraiser. If you have any suspicious charges, we recommend speaking directly to your bank. 

If you have any questions about your Facebook Fundraiser please contact Facebook at: 


There is no entry fee for this challenge. Participants are required to collect any sponsorship to Cancer Research UK through their Online Fundraising page or Facebook Fundraiser. This will automatically be sent to us once paid onto your fundraising page.

Absolutely, we encourage our participants to remain smokefree for good, and the longer you can stop smoking, the more likely you are to give up permanently! If you’ve set up a Giving Page it’ll remain active so your supporters can continue to donate for as long as you want to continue during this period.

There’s a range of support in the UK that can help you stay smokefree, including your free local stop smoking service, your pharmacist, your GP and the NHS Smokefree Facebook group. For a list of support, tools and how to reach out see the CRUK website, here:

How do I stop smoking? 


It’s important to get professional advice and support on stopping smoking from your local stop smoking service, doctor or pharmacist and use tools that are proven to be effective. But when you stop smoking, as well as the nicotine from cigarettes, you might also miss having something to do with your hands. The fidget popper could help by keeping your hands busy or distracting you if you’re craving a cigarette.

This challenge is specifically a fundraising initiative developed by Cancer Research UK, and therefore all fundraising must go direct the charity.  

Gift Aid is a tax relief allowing UK charities to reclaim an extra 25% on every eligible donation made by a UK taxpayer. This means Cancer Research UK can claim an extra 25p for every £1 donated, without it costing you or your sponsors an extra penny. If the donation is eligible for Gift Aid, sponsors need to fill out the sponsor form, following the guidelines at the top of the page.

The nicotine in tobacco is addictive, which means that when someone stops smoking they often experience cravings and other symptoms. The symptoms of nicotine withdrawal can be very uncomfortable, especially at first, but they usually ease with time and there are tools that can help. Stopping can make you feel better too – for example many people report coughing less after giving up and that they have more energy. It’s a good idea to get advice before you stop smoking to find out more about what to expect and plan for how you’ll deal with cravings and any situations where you might be tempted to smoke. If you’re concerned about any changes to your body, tell a healthcare professional. 

You can use our sponsorship form to raise money rather than using an online method. Simply download and print off to keep track of all your sponsorship collected or pledged. Once you have completed your fundraising, please send the form with a cheque to:  

Quit Smoking, Cancer Research UK, PO BOX 1561, Oxford, OX4 9GZ. 

Please note we are currently experiencing a delay in receiving and processing donations so do bear with us if it takes a little longer than usual to receive an acknowledgment.   

Sign up to the challenge

Sign up to take on this challenge to quit smoking starting in January and create your online Giving Page.

Sign Up