Stoptober – the 28 day challenge which supports the nation’s eight million smokers to stop smoking – is back. Over three quarters of a million people in the UK have already taken part in the biggest quit smoking attempt since it began three years ago and last year over 3,700 people in Hampshire quit smoking.
Councillor Patricia Stallard, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Health and Public Health said “Quitting smoking can be a difficult process, but evidence shows that if a smoker can go 28 days without a cigarette, they are five times more likely to stay permanently smoke-free.
“There are estimated to be around 200,000 smokers in Hampshire and those who sign up and stop smoking for 28 days, and hopefully longer, will begin to experience financial, physical and health benefits including better sense of taste and smell and a reduced risk of chronic breathing problems, lung cancer and heart disease. It is not just the individual who benefits, the cost of smoking to society across Hampshire as a whole is around £302 million per year, including health and social care costs, loss of productivity in businesses and dealing with waste and fires caused by cigarettes.”
Those who sign up to Stoptober will receive a variety of free and proven support including packs, apps and emails to help people quit for 28 days and beyond. Face-to-face advice and support can also be obtained from local Stop Smoking Services, which is on hand to provide tailored advice and hints and tips on how to quit. Local services can be found at www.nhs.uk/smokefree
Local pharmacy teams can advise on the best stop smoking medicines.
Cllr Stallard added: “To ensure that our commissioned Quit for Life service is supporting people in the most effective way possible, we are asking smokers to take part in a short survey to help us understand what support would be most effective and how people would like to access it.”
The 10 minute survey is open until 20 September and can be completed at www.hants.gov.uk/smokersurvey
Cllr Stallard continued: “Our aim is to offer stop smoking support through Quit4life to around 8000 smokers this year and to do that we need to make sure that future services provide what smokers need.”
Those wanting to quit also can contact Quit4Life by calling 0845 6024663