Kent County Council is backing the national Stoptober campaign starting next month, supporting smokers to sign up and stub out.
With data showing that 16.3% of Kent residents are smokers, KCC is promoting the Public Health England campaign by reminding residents of the support services available in Kent for those who want to quit.
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 so this national campaign is an excellent incentive and you’ll find plenty of support through local drop-in services, quit kits and other resources. We continue to aim for a Smokefree Kent by encouraging smokers to access the help available to give up cigarettes and lead a healthier life.”
Commissioned by KCC, Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust offers year-round support to quit smoking. Anne Ford, Assistant Director for Health Improvement for KCHFT said: “We know it can be tough to quit smoking but we are here to help. We offer lots of different types of support, from groups to one-to-one clinics, to support from your local pharmacy. We’ve helped thousands of people in Kent to quit smoking and be smokefree for life.”
Despite the fall in the number of smokers, many people find it hard to quit and 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 2016/17 smoking attributable admissions in Kent accounted for 12,444 people.
Encouraging people to quit smoking results in huge health benefits for the individual and huge financial savings for the health service. The annual cost of smoking to the NHS is estimated to be £2 billion a year.
New to this year, Public Health England’s Stoptober campaign is offering a free online ‘Personal Quit Plan’ to help smokers find the right stop smoking support for them. The online plan asks a number of questions and provides smokers with a suggested combination of support based on their level of tobacco dependency and what quitting support they have used previously. Smokers will be advised that nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products are most effective when used in combination – an all-day patch together with a fast-acting option such as an inhaler or lozenges to help them deal with any immediate cravings.
Angela Baker, deputy director for health & wellbeing at Public Health England South East said: “Stoptober is a perfect time for smokers to try and give up smoking – however many times they may have tried in the past. The annual campaign provides the perfect opportunity for family, friends and colleagues to work together towards quitting smoking for good.
“Now more than ever before there are a host of quit smoking aids and free support services available. I would encourage anyone thinking of quitting to visit our website, make a plan and commit to quit with Stoptober. Evidence shows you are more likely to quit with support from a local stop smoking service than of you try to go it alone.
“The biggest cause of preventable deaths in England is smoking and no matter how long a person has smoked, quitting really is the best thing a smoker can do for their health. By committing to quit you will join thousands of smokers across the South East this Stoptober who want to make a positive change to their health.”
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. You can find out more about KCC’s Smokefree campaign and sign up to Stoptober at www.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.uk or text ‘QUIT’ to 87023.
Notes to Editors:
For number of sign ups to Stoptober per local authority please contact the Public Health England South East press officer
Dartford Borough Council in partnership with KCHFT will have a member from the Stop Smoking Service team offering a drop-in service, starting on the 3 October at the Civic Centre in Home Gardens, Dartford. This is open to staff at Dartford Borough Council but will also be open to the general public.