HEALTH AND CARE: Challenge accepted: stop smoking for Stoptober

Thousands of people are expected to make an attempt to go smoke-free
Thousands of people are expected to make an attempt to go smoke-free

This month we’re backing our smoking population to be successful in their month-long quit attempt this Stoptober.

Smoking is a personal choice, but it doesn’t just affect you, it can impact upon loved ones, friends and even your pets’ long-term health.

This October, thousands of people are expected to make an attempt to go smoke-free.

Entering its fifth year, Stoptober is a national campaign aimed at encouraging smokers to take the first step in giving up, while offering professional support along the way.

Stopping smoking is the single biggest thing you can do to improve your health.

Free support to quit is available across the county from GP surgeries and high street pharmacists.

A full list of where you can go can be found on the West Sussex Wellbeing website

Last year more than 1,500 people in West Sussex successfully quit with the support of one of the stop smoking advisors available and health professionals are asking everyone, why not add yourself to this number during Stoptober?

West Sussex is home to 106,000 adult smokers; however, despite being on par with the national average (15.5 per cent), there are a number of areas where there are high numbers of smokers.

For example in Arun, the percentage of adults who smoke is going up.

Latest figures show more than half (56.1 per cent) of routine and manual workers in Arun say that they smoke, and almost a third (31.7 per cent) of hands-on workers in Chichester say they regularly smoke.

We are calling on everyone to consider Stoptober and use it as the opportunity to get the support you need to go smoke-free.

Set by Public Health England, the four-week Stoptober challenge is based on the knowledge that if you’re able to quit for 28 days, you’re five times more likely to quit for good.

By logging onto the Stoptober website you can access free support on a range of topics relating to your situation, they include:

• Ten self-help tips to stop smoking.

• How your GP can help you quit.

• Passive smoking: protect your family and friends.

• Get help with quitting again.

• Using e-cigarettes to stop smoking.

If you are smoking tobacco but want to swap to an e-cigarette (vape) then make an appointment to see an advisor to provide additional support.

E-cigarettes are 95 per cent less harmful than a cigarette containing tobacco, and combined with expert support can be a successful way to stop smoking.

You will have to buy your own vape but ask an advisor, or in one of the vape shops promoting Stoptober, for advice.

E-cigarettes can also be used instead of medication as part of your support.

Don’t wait for the new year to see the new you, act now and set yourself the 28-day target to move towards a healthier and happier life.

See more about Stoptober online and read more from the Stop Smoking section on NHS Choices’ website.