Posted by Amanda Crawford at 28/09/2016 09:17:21
GPs in west Kent are backing the Stoptober campaign starting next month, supporting smokers to sign up and stub out.
With data showing that 17% of Kent residents are smokers (above the South East and national average), the local NHS and KCC are promoting Stoptober and reminding residents of the many support services available for those who want to quit.
Dr Bob Bowes, a local GP and chair of NHS West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: "Half of all long-term smokers die prematurely because of a smoking-related disease. Smoking significantly increases the risks of developing many diseases like cancer, bronchitis, emphysema, and heart disease. We know it can be difficult to give up, but there has never been more support for smokers to kick the habit and I would urge you to try by signing up for Stoptober.”
KCC Director for Public Health, Andrew Scott-Clark, said: “Research shows that if you stop smoking for 28-days you are five times more likely to quit for good. We are encouraging our 200,600 smokers to take part in this year’s Stoptober campaign and take advantage of the quit kits and other resources and services available locally – we’re aiming for a Smokefree Kent.”
Commissioned by KCC, Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust offers year-round support to quit smoking and also runs a series of special Stoptober Quit Clubs. Anne Ford, Assistant Director for Health Improvement for KCHFT said: “Our friendly and professional team can support you to go smokefree in October and stay smokefree, for life. We’ve got hundreds of different Quit Clubs and one-to-one clinics across Kent so you’re sure to find a time and place to suit you. This year as well as personal sessions we’re also giving away hundreds of free Quit Kits to anyone who wants to have a go at the month-long challenge by themselves. You’re up to 10 times more likely to quit with help, so get the support you need.”
Last year, out of the 2.5 million smokers nationally who made a quit attempt during Stoptober, 500,000 people (20%) were successful - the highest recorded success rate and up from just 13.6% six years ago. Help is available from the app, email and social media support including Facebook Messenger, expert face to face support from local Stop Smoking Services, and there are different types of stop smoking aids available; including medicines and e-cigarettes.
KCC supports Stoptober as part of its Smokefree Kent campaign which features former smokers who live and work in the county, promoting the different support options available to those who want to give up cigarettes. Adverts on social media highlight real life stories and local services such as pharmacies and NHS quit clubs and “do it yourself” quit kits and digital tools (such as mobile apps) to support people who want to quit independently. For more about KCC’s Smokefree campaign and to sign up to Stoptober visitwww.kent.gov.uk/stoptober
More information on the Kent support services and quit kits can also be found by ringing 0300 123 1220 (option 1), at www.kenthealthandwellbeing.nhs.ukor text ‘QUIT’ to 87023.