Posted by Bobbie Walkem-Smith at 27/09/2013 11:47:13
Smoking is the single biggest killer in the UK, with half of long-term smokers dying early from a related disease. But in Thanet, more than 21 per cent of cent of the population are still lighting up.
The statistics, released this week by Public Health England, also show that more than 18 per cent of Thanet mums to be are smoking during pregnancy – higher than the England average of 13 per cent.
Research shows that smokers can live longer by quitting. One way to start stopping is to join this year’s giant 28-day Stoptober event from Tuesday 1 October.
Someone who quits smoking for October and doesn’t smoke again could gain an extra seven days of life every 28 days, for the rest of their life, say experts. And 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.
Dr John Neden, clinical lead for long-term conditions for NHS Thanet Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “The vast majority of smokers want to quit, but they find the obstacles difficult to overcome.
“However, by quitting smoking, many people discover a new-found sense of confidence and a real sense of achievement. That’s why we’re very supportive of initiatives such as Stoptober. If anyone is thinking of quitting, now is a great time.”
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 is at Hartsdown Leisure Centre, Margate. Your GP can refer you to the free seven-week programme.
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.
"Monster Quit Clubs have the added bonus of quitting alongside others who want to give up. It is a friendly and supportive environment and we are there for you every step of the way."
To book a place, see your GP or call free on 0800 849 4444 or text QUIT to 87023.
It is estimated that 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 and http://www.kentcht.nhs.uk/home/about-us/news/join-kents-biggest-ever-quit-attempt/
There are also Monster Quit Clubs at: Kingsmead Leisure Centre, Canterbury; Dover Leisure Centre, Dover; Ashford GW, Ashford; Cascades Leisure Centre, Gravesend and Larkfield Leisure Centre, Aylesford.