Smokers across the South West are being encouraged to take the Stoptober Challenge and quit smoking for 28 days this October.

The campaign, which runs throughout October, is asking smokers to think about stopping now, to sign up to quit for 28 days on October 1st and receive support direct to their inbox or mobile to help them succeed in what is well known to be a tough task.

Cllr Chris Lewis, Executive Lead for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Choosing to stop smoking is one of the most worthwhile decisions you’ll ever make. It’s hard, but that’s why we offer help through our stop smoking service, because it’s also worth it. The stop smoking team can provide 1-to-1 and group support to help people to quit smoking for good, with sessions in Paignton and Brixham as well as Castle Circus Health Centre in Torquay.”

Fiona Andrews, Director of Smokefree South West, said: “We know that large numbers of smokers – two thirds – want to quit, but we also know it’s not as easy as stubbing out the last cigarette. According to a recent survey, 4 in 10 smokers have tried to quit in the last year. Stoptober is a great campaign because it helps to give smokers a focus, and crucially, the support they will need to quit for good.”

This is the third year of Stoptober, which is run nationally by Public Health England. The 28-day target is based on research that says that if you can stop smoking for 28 days you are five times more likely to stay quit. Last year, 18,775 smokers in the South West signed up for Stoptober and nationally 65% of those who took park succeeded in staying quit for the 28 days.

This year’s Stoptober campaign is using comedy to engage smokers and help them through their 28 day smokefree challenge, and stay quit for good.

By signing up to Stoptober, smokers are provided with a detailed 28-day step-by-step programme to support them in their smokefree attempt. To find out more, and to join the biggest stop smoking challenge of its kind, search ‘Stoptober’ online.

The benefits of quitting are well known, but smokers who have quit the habit know that while it can be hard to overcome the cravings, the pay-off is certainly worth it and after just 28 days smokers will start to feel the financial, physical and health benefits, including better sense of taste and smell and a reduced risk of lung cancer and heart disease.

If you want to quit this Stoptober, search ‘Stoptober’ online and sign up to the 28 day quit challenge. TO contact the Torbay Stop Smoking Service on 01803 299160, email stopsmoking.torbay@nhs.net, find them on Facebook at ‘www.facebook.com/TSDHCT’ or Twitter @TSDHC.

The service offers a range of support including access to stop smoking medication on prescription; free, accurate advice through 1-to-1 appointments, group support, telephone, text and e-mail support; carbon monoxide monitoring; up to 12 weeks support from a Specialist Adviser, with experts on hand with advice around pregnancy, young-people-specific advice, mental health and secondary care.

ENDS

For more information, interview opportunities and images, please contact Dan Ward on 0117 970 7022 / 07825 282 395 or email: dan.ward@smokefreesouthwest.org.uk

Notes to Editors

New campaign images and the 3 minute Stoptober advert can be downloaded by media (from 5th September) at: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ryoh1txtbr9opf5/AAB5P0-QnNXyQn8MDntnqSAfa?dl=0
Smokefree South West works to reduce smoking rates and health inequalities across the region, by delivering a tobacco control programme on behalf of public health directors at local authorities. The organisation delivers campaigns and tools to help reduce smoking rates in the South West, making tobacco less desirable and less accessible.

When Smokefree South West launched in 2008, around 1 in 4 (25%) of adults in the region were smoking - a figure which was above the national average.
Smoking rates in the region now stand at under 1 in 5 (18%) – one of the lowest levels in England – according to the latest ONS General Lifestyle Survey. This translates to an estimated 294,000 fewer smokers living in the region.


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