Take the Stoptober challenge and feel the benefits

Smokers across Calderdale are being urged to kick the habit during Stoptober – the national mass quit attempt for the month of October.

Since it first launched 12 years ago, Stoptober has helped over 2.5 million people make a quit attempt. This year, the campaign’s theme is ‘When you stop smoking, good things start to happen’, reminding smokers of the many benefits of stopping smoking.

While smoking rates have declined in recent years, over 5 million people in England still smoke and it remains the single biggest cause of preventable illness and death.

According to the latest data, 11.5% of over-18s are smokers in Calderdale, which is slightly lower that the national average of 12.7%. 26.5% of adults with a long-term mental health condition in Calderdale smoke.

Smokers who manage to stop for 28 days are five times more likely to stop for good. There are lots of ways to quit and there’s plenty of free support to help people find what works for them.

Calderdale Council is working with Yorkshire Smokefree Calderdale, the local stop smoking service, to support the campaign and provide face-to-face, telephone and online support which further increases the chances of quitting successfully. The service now offers free vape kits alongside support, as part of a trial being funded by Yorkshire Cancer Research.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health, Cllr Tim Swift, said:

“There are so many benefits to stopping smoking, such as having more energy, feeling healthier, breathing better and having extra money in your pocket. New research from a national survey of ex-smokers found that nearly all (95%) saw positive changes in their life soon after quitting smoking.

“Stoptober is the perfect time to take that first step on the journey to living a smoke-free life. There’s lots of national support available to help you, plus our local stop-smoking service will be with you all the way, contributing to a healthier, happier Calderdale.”

Calderdale Council’s Director for Public Health, Debs Harkins, said:

“The number of people dying from smoking-related deaths in Calderdale is higher than the national average, and smoking can have a devastating effect on your health and the health of those around you.

“The good news is that the risk of developing smoking-related illnesses decreases the sooner smokers decide to quit. The health benefits are felt straight away and within six months of stopping, the risk of heart attack, cancer and other smoking diseases begins to fall.

“Those who can stop smoking for 28 days are five times more likely to stop for good, so I’m encouraging smokers in Calderdale to take the Stoptober challenge and to feel the subsequent health and financial benefits.”

Jan Spence, Manager of Yorkshire Smokefree Calderdale, added:

“Stoptober is a fantastic opportunity for anyone thinking of quitting, and research shows you’re more likely to quit with help. Yorkshire Smokefree Calderdale provides expert NHS advice and support for anyone who wants to stop smoking. We offer online, face to face and telephone support from our friendly specialists to ensure you’re successful on your quit journey.”

For more information about Stoptober and the support available, visit link)

Yorkshire Smokefree’s specialist advisors have helped thousands of people to give up the habit. Visit link) or call 01422 262373. To refer yourself, text YSF to 80800 free of charge, and Yorkshire Smokefree Calderdale will be in touch. You can also visit link) or link)

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