Smokers in the North East are being invited to join the tens of thousands of people gearing up to quit for Stoptober – officially launched today (Monday 9 September)
This year, Stoptober is aiming to become the nation’s biggest ever quitting drive - with every North East local authority and dozens of organisations with a reach of over half a million staff in the region taking part to back it.
Stoptober is a 28 day initiative from Public Health England, which is backed by Fresh and encourages the North East’s 460,000 smokers to make a quit attempt, starting on October 1.
People will be able to take advantage of free support including a Stoptober support pack, a daily messaging service and Stoptober mobile app. To register all you have to do is click on smokefree.nhs.uk/Stoptober/
Research shows smokers who stop for 28 days are five times more likely to stay quit. Friends, families, employers and work colleagues can also make a real difference to support people to stop for the whole of October and beyond.
Every North East council has backed the campaign, which includes encouraging any staff who smoke to give quitting a go. Some of the major organisations backing Stoptober include, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trust, Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, Durham University, Newcastle University, the University of Sunderland, Greggs, International Paint, Bellway Homes, Nike, Boots, Durham and Cleveland Constabularies, South Tyneside Homes, Gentoo, Home Housing and Port of Tyne.
The Northern TUC has also backed the campaign through the Better Health at Work Awards scheme.
Councillor Andy Scott, Darlington Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Partnerships said: “Just like new year’s resolutions and no smoking day, this is a great opportunity to take that first step to a healthier and wealthier life. Last year hundreds of Darlington residents took the Stoptober challenge. This year, make it your turn to change your life.”
Councillor Lucy Hovvels, Durham County Council, said “We are supporting Stoptober as evidence suggests that if a smoker can stay smokefree during the 28 day challenge, smokers are five times more likely to go smokefree and stop for good. Stoptober gives smokers the opportunity to prepare and take part in a smokefree plan that will give them a great foundation for giving up.
“During Stoptober, there will be lots of support to help people on their smokefree journey including a prepare pack, a text support service and an app for real-time support. People can also contact our local County Durham and Darlington NHS Stop Smoking Service as they offer free local and effective support that works.”
Ailsa Rutter, Director of Fresh, said: “We're encouraging anyone who smokes in the North East to join in with Stoptober and give quitting a go. Last year's campaign was a massive success and this year it could be even bigger.
“It is fantastic to have so much involvement from local authorities and major employers from the region this year. The support of your employer and colleagues can make a massive difference to help you to quit.
“If you smoke there’s countless reasons to stop. You will feel better in yourself, lower your chances of a serious smoking related disease like lung cancer, and have much more money in your pocket.
“There are more tools than ever before to help quit for good, as well as the excellent support from the effective NHS Stop Smoking Services in the North East.”
Benefits of quitting:
•Reduce the risk of a serious smoking related disease from middle age
•You’ll improve your general fitness
•You’ll save hundreds if not thousands of pounds for nicer things
•Your skin and teeth will improve•You won’t smell of smoke
•If you smoke indoors, you’ll protect loved ones from poisonous smoke