You wouldn’t know it judging by some city streets but the number of adult smokers across Bath and North East Somerset has dropped to a record low of 11.4%.
Public Health England says a smoke free generation is now within reach and is encouraging the remaining 18,000 smokers across the district to join the nation’s biggest quit attempt during Stoptober.
This year’s Stoptober campaign urges smokers to re-evaluate their bad relationship with smoking and ‘split up’.
Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Stop Smoking team is supporting the campaign, providing smokers with the support and information they need to ‘break up’ with tobacco.
Councillor Rob Appleyard, cabinet member for Adult Services and Health, said: “Giving up smoking can be incredibly difficult, I know I did it 30 years ago, but it’s also incredibly rewarding. We have some fantastic services across B&NES that can offer smokers all sorts of help, including access to nicotine replacement therapy such as patches, gum or inhalators on prescription and so don’t give up, giving up! While vaping isn’t encouraged in non-smokers it’s a valuable tool in a quit attempt and B&NES stop smoking services are ‘e-cigarette friendly’ to give everyone the best chance of making a change.”
Research has shown that while many smokers want to quit, they face common barriers including procrastination and a fear of failure. Smokers can get expert face-to-face support from B&NES stop smoking services, and those who do are three times as likely to quit successfully as those who try to quit using willpower alone.
Additionally, GPs and pharmacists can also give advice and tips to help smokers quit, including what stop smoking aids might be right for them.
TV presenter, Nadia Sawalha who is supporting Stoptober, said: “I always knew smoking was bad for me, but I was addicted. I loved cigarettes and for years I used to joke that giving up smoking was like giving up a bad boy lover. You think you’re having the best of times, but the truth is deep down you know they’re no good for you.
After several attempts I did succeed and ended my relationship with smoking and I’m so pleased I did, the feeling of being smokefree and no longer feeling guilty about smoking is amazing, and I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family and friends who helped me resist the urge to turn back to cigarettes if I was stressed or upset. I’d encourage anyone thinking about quitting to give Stoptober a go and see if they can split up with smoking for 28 days.”
Public Health England is concerned about the increasing confusion amongst the public about whether vaping/e-cigarettes are harmful and recent stories from the US about vaping related diseases have added to this. However, it says the evidence is clear: vaping is much safer than smoking tobacco and is one of the most effective ways to help people quit smoking. Recent reports on the health risks linked with unregulated and adulterated vaping liquid do not translate to the situation here in England where smokers can be assured they are buying vaping products, tightly regulated for quality and safety.
Clover Taylor, who works for the council’s Trading Standards team, said: “Two years ago I gave up smoking and started vaping instead. However, I became worried after I read the bad press about vape related illnesses in the US. So I did a bit of research and am fully confident that we have good controls in the UK to protect vaping consumers.”
To date Stoptober has supported over 1.9 million people on their quit journey– if a smoker can make it to 28 days smokefree, they are five times more likely to quit for good. Stoptober’s free quitting support includes the Stoptober app, Facebook messenger bot, daily emails, a Personal Quit Plan and Stoptober online communities. For more information visit: http://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/stoptober
Bath & North East Somerset’s stop smoking service can be contacted on 0300 247 0203 or via email: BATHNES.firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s not easy folks. Took me two attempts 28 years ago but let people around know what you are doing so you have a bit of support. It IS worth it in the end.