Stoptober is back and smokers in Sunderland are being encouraged to give quitting another go – even if they’ve tried before.
Smoking rates in the North East have fallen by 44 per cent since 2005.
Stoptober has helped over a million people quit across the country, and is the biggest mass quit attempt.
It’s estimated just 1 in 10 people in England will be a smoker in 5 years’ time.
Public Health England says the number who light-up in the country has fallen by a million since 2014.
Research shows that if you stop smoking for 28 days or more then you are five times more likely to quit for good.
Sunderland City council have launched a Health Living Pharmacy scheme to help quitters.
Councillor Geoffrey Walker, Portfolio Holder for Health and Social Care at Sunderland City Council, said:
“Research shows that if you stop smoking for 28 days or more then you are five times more likely to quit for good. Stoptober has helped over 1 million people quit across the country, and is the biggest mass quit attempt. It provides a great opportunity for people who want to quit to start their journey. There’s a range of free support on offer including an app, daily emails, and lots of encouragement from the Stoptober online community on Facebook.”
“In Sunderland we have recently launched a Healthy Living Pharmacy scheme which means that there are pharmacies all over the city that can help you stop smoking if you want to. Those who use stop smoking aids and who get face to face support from their local stop smoking service are more likely to quit successfully.”
“With a number of free online tools also available, there’s never been a better time to quit and even if you have tried before, try again – every attempt is different.”
“To find your nearest Healthy Living Pharmacy or for information and support to stop smoking, see www.livelifewell.org.uk or call 0800 107 0741.”
Ailsa Rutter OBE, Director of Fresh, said:
“Most smokers would like to be able to quit. You stand a much better chance if you give quitting a serious go at least once a year until you can stop for good.”
“The North East has seen the highest fall in smoking in England, and the best quitting success rates. In 2005, our adult smoking rates were on 29% and we are getting close to halving smoking.”
“We’d urge smokers who have struggled to quit before to take heart from the hundreds of thousands of other people who have stopped for good.”
“If we are to get smoking down to 10% and under, it will be vital that our GP surgeries and hospitals also play a major part to support smokers to quit with effective treatment.”
The best way to quit is with expert help from local stop smoking services together with stop smoking aids.
In 2017-18, half (51%) of smokers who got this package of support managed to quit and among those who used an e-cigarette in their quit attempt, the success rate was up to 63%.
New to this year, Public Health England’s Stoptober campaign is offering a free online ‘Personal Quit Plan’ to help smokers find the right stop smoking support for them. The online plan asks a number of questions and provides smokers with a suggested combination of support based on their level of tobacco dependency and what quitting support they have used previously. Smokers will be advised that nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products are most effective when used in combination – an all-day patch together with a fast-acting option such as an inhalator or lozenges to help them deal with any immediate cravings.
48-year-old dad of three Nathan Freeman from Sunderland stopped smoking after he realised he needed to act before it was too late.
Four months on, after receiving support to quit through his local pharmacy, Nathan is already feeling “immense” benefits to his health enabling him to spend more time with his family.
“When I was younger, I didn’t really think about the damage I was doing to my health. But now I’m getting older, I started to notice that I was struggling for breath when walking uphill and was panting and puffing. I thought, ‘this is ridiculous’ and knew I had to do something about it, not just for me, but for my family.”
“In the past, I had thought that I could just stop on my own, but this time I decided to get some support. The staff at the pharmacy have been excellent and understand what you are going through. I find the weekly checks are good for my motivation and there is also financial assistance with nicotine replacement therapies, such as nasal sprays, which I found helpful.”
For information and support to help you stop smoking in Sunderland, contact the Live Life Well team, on 0800 107 0741 or 0191 565 3482, or visit www.livelifewell.org.uk.