Kick the habit in Stoptober

Scott Sanders, Kathryn Nunn, Fog Hanson, Vicky Karwowski and Ryan Hudson
Scott Sanders, Kathryn Nunn, Fog Hanson, Vicky Karwowski and Ryan Hudson

Help is available throughout this month to give people the support they need to kick the smoking habit.

Stoptober – England’s 28-day stop smoking attempt – is back following its huge success last year which saw 160,000 people complete the challenge.

An event took place at the Grosvenor Centre in Northampton on Tuesday to let people across the county know about the initiative and show them the support available to help them quit.

It included the opportunity to make quit pledges on a giant electronic wheel and talk to the NHS specialists who operate the free Stop Smoking clinics across the county.

Stoptober cyclists were also out and about in the town centre to help spread the word.

Cllr Heather Smith, deputy leader of Northamptonshire County Council, said: “Anything that can be done to help people who have got addicted to smoking has got to be good.

“Stoptober is a brilliant initiative and it signposts people to where they can get help.

“It is not only the health issues but the cost implications of smoking – a lot of people are experiencing hard times financially so by giving up smoking you not only protect your health but also you will be better off.”

Figures show 20.9 per cent of adults in Northamptonshire still smoke and it remains the nation’s biggest killer with half of long-term smokers dying prematurely from a smoking-related disease.

A person stopping smoking for 28 days is five times more likely to stay smokefree and Stoptober’s aim is to help smokers achieve this goal.

Along with the health benefits, quitting saves the average smoker more than £150 a month and almost £2,000 a year.

It is estimated that £206m was spent on tobacco by smokers in Northamptonshire last year alone.

Professor Kevin Fenton, director of health and wellbeing at Public Health England, said: “Campaigns such as Stoptober, along with the support provided by local stop smoking services, play a huge role in helping people to stop.

“While smoking prevalence across the country as a whole is falling steadily, it remains high in some parts.”

The Northamptonshire NHS Stop Smoking Service is urging those thinking of quitting to book into a free one-to-one clinic in order to make a supported quit attempt with an NHS specialist.

Evidence shows that joining a clinic gives a four times better chance of quitting for good compared to going it alone.

Clinics run throughout the county and include weekend and evening clinics.

For more details or to book into a clinic, call the helpline on 0845 6013116.