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Free support to help people quit smoking

Posted on Monday 26th September 2022
Chris Speed, Paul Northcott Stoptober NR

Chris Speed with Staffordshire County Cllr Paul Northcott

People interested in quitting smoking are being reminded that help is at hand as part of a national campaign.

Stoptober, now in its eleventh year, aims to encourage smokers to make a quit attempt during the month of October. 

This year’s theme is ‘You’ve got this’ and Staffordshire County Council’s Public Health team and Everyone Health Staffordshire are reminding people about the help available.

The service offers free telephone support sessions and virtual appointments to anyone aged 40 or over, living in Staffordshire.  Advice on managing cravings and access to free medication is included in the support.

With the rising cost of living and people looking for ways to save money, health bosses are also keen to point out that people who smoke 20 cigarettes a day and quit, could save themselves up to £5,000 a year.

Cllr Paul Northcott, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet Support Member for Public Health, Integrated Care and Safeguarding, said:

“We know that quitting smoking isn’t easy but with the right support and encouragement it can be done.

“Stoptober is when we encourage smokers to join thousands of people to make a quit attempt and try to sustain it for 28 days.  We know from research that people who give up for the four week period are five times more likely to quit for good. Quitting smoking is not only good for your health and the people around you but it’s also good for your wallet and could save you thousands of pounds a year.

“The focus of this year’s campaign is ‘You’ve got this’, so remember, you’re not on your own and the service can give you that extra confidence to quit for good.”

With nearly 6 million adults in England still smoking, it remains the single biggest cause of preventable death, with 64,000 deaths a year.

Last year, Everyone Health Staffordshire helped over 1,200 people to make a quit attempt.

Chris Speed, Senior Stop Smoking Practitioner from Everyone Health Staffordshire said:

“Our service is designed to help people quit smoking for good, not just in the short term.   

“We offer free, one-to-one telephone support and virtual appointments, which are tailored for each individual aged 40 and over. We can advise on choosing a suitable stop smoking medication and how to manage cravings and withdrawal symptoms.  All stop smoking medication that we provide is also free of charge, so it’s a great opportunity to try and quit.”

Pete Simmons, aged 52 has managed to quit smoking thanks to the support from Everyone Health Staffordshire.

Pete said:

“I was a heavy smoker, smoking 30-40 cigarettes a day for 37 years but since I’ve quit, I’ve noticed real improvements in my health.

“I’m no longer coughing and getting out of breath walking to the shops. In fact, I did a 7km Memory Walk with the grandchildren a few weeks ago in support of the Alzheimer’s Society, which I would never have even dreamt was possible before giving up.

“I’ve also managed to save over £1,200 a month since quitting. This includes stopping drinking as well which was an added bonus.  I found the support from Everyone Health amazing and it helped me with strategies to combat my cravings. If it wasn’t for their support, I would have probably failed.

“If I can do it, so can you. I’d definitely recommend the service to others thinking about quitting smoking."

People can read more about the support and get in touch at the Everyone Health Staffordshire website.

People under the age of 40 can also access support via the free NHS App. Just search ‘NHS Quit Smoking’ in the app store.

Watch as professional dancer James Jordan speaks about how people can stop smoking.

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