Kent residents who smoke are being reminded of the support services that can help them quit this No Smoking Day, including free NHS Health MOTs in Thanet today (13 March).
Approximately 16.3% of Kent residents are smokers and while the number of smokers has fallen over recent years, many people find it hard to quit; tobacco remains the number one killer in England and a chief cause of long-term poor health with one in four hospital beds occupied by a smoker. In 2017/18 smoking attributable admissions in Kent accounted for 11,599 people.
KCC Deputy Director for Public Health, Allison Duggal said: “Smoking can lead to high blood pressure and also trigger an irregular heartbeat, both of which increase the risk of having a stroke. By quitting, you will reduce your risk of having a stroke along with many different types of cancer, heart and lung disease.”
Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT) offers year-round support to quit smoking. Local services such as pharmacies, NHS quit clubs and digital tools (such as mobile apps) are available to support people who want to quit independently.
KCHFT and Wellbeing People are currently carrying out a series of NHS Health Checks across the county in local venues including high streets and shopping centres. Today they will be at Westwood Cross in Broadstairs.
If you are aged 40 to 74-years-old and with no relevant pre-existing conditions, you can sign up for a free NHS Health Check for advice on keeping yourself healthy and active. Your blood pressure, height and weight will be checked. You will be given a small finger prick test to check your blood cholesterol and you’ll also be asked some questions about your lifestyle and family history. The check will identify the risk of you developing heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes or dementia in the future.
Mark Cummings, One You Locality Manager for Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT) said: “We know that some people don’t like to go to the GP, so our One You Roadshows are helping people across Kent to get a free NHS Health Check in a convenient location; or some simple lifestyle advice to support them to make the change to a healthier lifestyle. We’re really grateful to all of our venues for hosting us this month – particularly Morrison’s who have been especially helpful.”
Health Checks are led by KCHFT and commissioned by Kent County Council. One You advisors are visiting Gravesend, Maidstone, Canterbury, Dover, Folkestone and the Isle of Sheppey this morning, following a series of events in Thanet and Swale earlier this year.
Allison added: “We need the help of all employers, organisations and health services to spread the message so that people can get access to specialist support and treatment for those who need it. We also have lifestyle services in the community that can support people if they need further help to cut back – services like One You Kent which really can help.”
Try the ‘How are You?’ quiz or book up for a free Health Check* and find out more about a range of tools, tips and local support services that can help you at www.oneyoukent.org.uk
Alternatively, ring 0300 123 1220 (option 1), or text ‘QUIT’ to 87023. You can also find more information at www.kenthealthandwellbeing.nhs.uk