Lights go out on smoking habits

Stop Smoking NHS Blackpool
Stop Smoking NHS Blackpool
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A CAMPAIGN to encourage people to stop smoking has been hailed a success, after hundreds of people came forward to stub out for good.

Bosses at NHS Blackpool’s Stop Smoking Service say during October – which is when the national Stoptober campaign was running – 633 people set a quit date through them or pharmacy services, compared to 528 the previous October.

Some people signed up in late October, even on October 31, but health bosses say in general, they anticipate 40 per cent of those people will be smoke-free after 28 days – meaning 253 no longer lighting up regularly. In August, the service saw 423 people set a date to stop smoking.

Carol Bramhall, smoking cessation service co-ordinator for Blackpool, said: “We had a really positive response to Stoptober in Blackpool, with hundreds of people taking the first steps toward quitting for good.

“With smoking being one of Blackpool’s biggest problems, it’s really good to see such a response.

“The numbers of people going through was definitely up from the previous October and from August.”

Stoptober challenged people to go smoke-free for 28 days during October.

It offered smokers a range of support to kick the habit – including a daily messaging service, expert advice via a smartphone app, social media support and extra help from Blackpool stop smoking service.

It was the first mass quitting attempt launched by the Department of Health.

Carol added: “At this time of year, people might tend to put things off until January, so it’s good Stoptober has brought people in.

“Research shows people are five times more likely to stay smoke-free, if they can stop for 28 days.

“Of course, even though Stoptober has finished, it’s not too late for people to give up.

“They can still set their own 28-day quit challenge and we are here to help.”

Figures from NHS Blackpool show almost 400 people die every year in Blackpool as a result of smoking, while 8,000 receive medical care for preventable smoking-related conditions.

Blackpool has a high rate of overall smoking, with 35 per cent of the population lighting up.

The service can be contacted on (01253) 651570 or email stop.smoking@blackpool.nhs.uk

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