Posted by Bobbie Walkem-Smith at 30/09/2013 08:05:27
Smoking is the single biggest killer in the UK. Half of long-term smokers die early from a related disease. But 23 per cent of adults are still lighting up in Canterbury, Whitstable and Herne Bay.
What’s more, according to Public Health England figures published this September, around 18 per cent of local mums-to-be smoked while pregnant last year. This compares to a national average of 13.3 per cent.
Research shows you can live longer by giving up smoking. One way to start stopping is to join this year’s 28-day Stoptober event from Tuesday 1 October.
Someone who quits smoking for Stoptober and doesn’t smoke again could gain an extra seven days of life every 28 days, for the rest of their life, say experts. A person who stops smoking for 28 days is five times more likely to stay smoke-free.
Quitting can save the average smoker almost £2,000 a year. During last year’s Stoptober campaign, an estimated £25 million was saved by 160,000 people who stopped buying cigarettes.
GP Dr Simon Dunn, NHS Canterbury and Coastal Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) lead for respiratory disease, said: “The Stoptober campaign is a great time for smokers to try and quit smoking. Smoking not only has serious health risks for the smoker, but for those around them, especially young children. I’d particularly urge woman that are trying to conceive or are already pregnant to stop smoking. Smoking during pregnancy can have life-threatening consequences for your unborn child.
“The sooner you can stop, the better, but it is never too late. Even if you have been smoking for years, the health benefits of quitting can be very significant. For example, after only a couple of days of quitting you will find your sense of smell and taste will have improved.”
The Stop Smoking Team from Kent Community Health NHS Trust has launched additional Monster Quit Clubs to cope with the expected demand following the launch of a series of TV adverts. One of the Quit Clubs will be held in Canterbury. To take part in the free programme, see your GP or call or call free on 0800 849 4444 or text QUIT to 87023.
Graham Thomas from the Stop Smoking Team said: “We know quitting is tough but no one has to go it alone. We are inviting anyone who is ready to quit to join us. You are four times more likely to quit using an NHS Stop Smoking Service. It is a friendly and supportive environment and we are there for you every step of the way.”
It is estimated smokers and their related illnesses cost the NHS up to £2.7 billion a year. Those who sign up to Stoptober receive a free stop-smoking pack, a 28-day mobile phone app and daily updates and advice through text messages. To take part, visit www.smokefree.nhs.uk/Stoptober.
See also www.smokefreekent.nhs.uk.