Smokers challenged to join thousands who quit for Stoptober

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501080 PHE OY Stoptober2018 Facebook Post WillYouSmokers in Sandwell and West Birmingham are being encouraged to join the thousands of quitters who will be taking up the national 2018 Stoptober challenge. Research shows that stopping smoking for 28 days means that smokers are five times more likely to stop for good.

NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is supporting the national 28 day stop smoking campaign which is run annually by Public Health England. Last year, nearly 400,000 smokers in England quit successfully,* which is the equivalent to 1,069 smokers each day. Despite new smokers starting and ex-smokers relapsing, there are now 1 million fewer smokers in England since 2014.**

This year, Stoptober is encouraging smokers to find the most suitable support for them, rather than trying to go “cold turkey”. The best way to quit is with expert help from local stop smoking services together with stop smoking aids. In 2017-18, half (51%) of smokers who got this package of support managed to quit and among those who used an e-cigarette in their quit attempt, the success rate was up to 63%.

Public Health England is offering a free Personal Quit Plan as part of the Stoptober campaign this year to help smokers find the right support for them. The online plan asks a number of questions and provides smokers with a suggested combination of support based on their level of tobacco dependency and what quitting support they have used previously. The plan is available at https://bit.ly/2NQGPKb.

The Stoptober App helps quitters stay on track throughout Stoptober, with motivation and support on the go and when it is needed most. Quitters can also track the days they have been smokefree and even see how much cash they are saving. The app is available at https://bit.ly/2MJijFZ

Dr Nick Harding, Chair of NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG, said:

“The single best thing a smoker can do for their health is to quit smoking and there is now more support available than ever before thanks to the hugely successful Stoptober campaign. Stopping smoking brings real lifestyle and health benefits, like improvements in breathing and fitness, improved circulation, improved ability to taste and smell, improved appearance of skin and teeth, and having more money to spend.

“Smokers who smoke a packet a day could save around £250 each month and around £3,000 per year. Quitting also helps protect loved ones from harmful secondhand smoke – reducing their risk of developing asthma, meningitis and some cancers.”

Jeremy Kyle, TV presenter and until recently a smoker of 35 years, said:

“I was a 20 a day smoker for most of my life and am proud to say I quit smoking earlier this year. Since quitting I’ve learned just how important using support is and for people not to go ‘cold turkey’ – that certainly didn’t work for me in the past. If I can quit, I honestly believe anyone can quit if you just have the right support, and that’s what Stoptober is there to give you and I want people to know that and to do it this year.”