Smokers urged to kick the habit with Stoptober campaign

Stoptober

There has been a large increase in the number of people smoking during the pandemic. - Credit: Pixabay

Smokers in North Somerset are being encouraged to take part in Stoptober to help them kick the habit. 

Smoking remains the leading preventable cause of premature death in England, and health leaders in the South West are encouraging people to join the mass quit attempt. 

According to the latest figures from Public Health England, 11.3 per cent of the population in North Somerset were smokers in 2019. 

A new nationwide survey of current smokers released earlier this month found that nearly 45 per cent have been smoking more since the first lockdown. 

Data from the monthly UCL Smoking Toolkit Study also shows a large increase in smoking in people aged 35 and under since the pandemic – up from 18 per cent last year to 24 per cent. 

Public Health England South West believes this year’s Stoptober campaign is more important than ever, due to the increase in smoking patterns. 

Russ Moody, health and wellbeing programme lead for Public Health England South West said: “Since the pandemic, we’ve seen an increase in 18 to 34 year olds taking up smoking, which is why Stoptober is as vital as ever. Now in its 10th year, it’s supported over two million smokers to give quitting a go.  

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“Quitting smoking will not only immediately improve your physical health but also your bank balance. Research shows that if you can make it to 28 days smoke free then you are five times more likely to quit for good.” 

Stoptober is based on research that if a smoker can make it to 28 days smoke free, they are five times more likely to quit for good. 

The campaign first launched in 2012 when one in five adults smoked; this has since fallen to one seven in England. 

Stoptober offers a range of free quitting tools including: the NHS Quit Smoking app, Facebook messenger bot, Stoptober Facebook online communities, daily emails and SMS, and an online Personal Quit Plan.  

The Personal Quit Plan helps people find a combination of support that’s right for them, including expert support from local Stop Smoking Services and stop smoking aids. 

For more details on the support on offer, log on to https://www.nhs.uk/better-health/quit-smoking  

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