Hampshire County Council is encouraging smokers to stop as part of the new Health Harms campaign running at the start of 2016. Quitting smoking reduces the risk of developing serious, debilitating lung diseases such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), with many smokers often dismissing the early signs as a ‘smoker’s cough’.
Councillor Patricia Stallard, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Health and Public Health said: “COPD is a serious condition which can greatly impact on a person’s quality of life. Large numbers of people with COPD are unable to participate in everyday activities such as climbing stairs, housework or gardening; with many even unable to take a holiday because of their disease.
“I want to remind local people there is help if they are worried about the harm smoking is doing to their health and want to quit. In Hampshire, Quit4Life, the local NHS stop smoking service commissioned by the County Council, has already helped nearly 2000 smokers quit in the past six months. Using this free expert service means you are up to four times more likely to be successful.”
In a recent survey, 75 per cent of those Hampshire smokers who responded, told the County Council they would be most likely to think about quitting if smoking was making them ill and 57% would consider taking action if someone close to them was being made ill through smoking.
Stopping smoking has some immediate benefits such as improved breathing and circulation while the longer term risks of developing conditions such as COPD, are reduced.
For smokers who are keen to stop smoking and thinking about using an e-cigarette, or are using one already, Hampshire’s Quit4Life service is one of the first “e-cigarette friendly” NHS stop smoking services in the country and can provide advice. Call Quit4Life on 0845 602 4663, or text QUIT to 60123 or visit www.quit4life.nhs.uk to contact the service.
Although two thirds of Hampshire smokers who responded to the survey want face to face help to quit, a smaller number want support to give up smoking by themselves. For these people , the Health Harms campaign offers free online support, including Quit Kits, apps, email and text support and through social media. This follows on from Stoptober, when just under 5000 smokers from Hampshire signed up to quit smoking.