Posted by at 27/09/2013 09:30:35
Smoking is the single biggest killer in the UK. But more than 17 per cent of adults in West Kent are still lighting up.
Research shows half of the people who smoke long-term die early from a related disease. But experts say that someone who gives up smoking can gain an extra seven days of life every 28 days that they remain a non-smoker.
Statistics released this week by Public Health England show that in Tunbridge Wells 20.4 per cent of the adult population smoke. In Maidstone it is 18.7 per cent, in Sevenoaks 16.4 per cent and in Tonbridge and Malling 13.7 per cent. Nationally 20 per cent of the adult population smoke.
The figures also show that 12.2 per cent of pregnant women in West Kent are also smoking, risking harm to their unborn child.
Research shows you can live longer by giving up smoking. One way to start stopping is to join this year’s giant 28-day Stoptober event from Tuesday 1 October.
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.
GP Dr Bob Bowes, who chairs NHS West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Smokers have so much to gain from giving up smoking both in terms of life expectancy and money as well as better health. There’s a lot of support on offer to help people give up, and campaigns such as Stoptober give people that extra motivation they may need.
“We’d like every smoker to consider giving up in October.”
The Stop Smoking Team from Kent Community Health NHS Trust runs Quit Clubs to help people give up smoking.
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. It is a friendly and supportive environment and we are there for you every step of the way.”
For details, call free on 0800 849 4444 or text QUIT to 87023.
It is estimated 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