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Stoptober challenge for local smokers

Press Release   •   Sep 22, 2014 16:55 BST

Bury’s 32,100 smokers are encouraged to kick the habit this October as part of the UK’s annual mass quit attempt – Stoptober.

The number of smokers accounts for 20.9 per cent of the borough’s population, which is higher than the national average of 19.8 per cent (*).

Smoking costs the borough’s public services tens’ of millions of pounds every year through early death, illness, litter and fires associated with smoking.

Stoptober, which is run by Public Health England and now in its third year, aims to encourage as many of these smokers as possible to quit for 28 days.  The campaign is supported by the borough’s Stop Smoking Service, provided by Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, and the public health team from Bury Council.

“If someone can stop smoking for 28 days, they are five times more likely to quit for good,” says Rebecca Caygill, Health and Wellbeing Service Manager from Pennine Care.

“It’s one of the hardest things a person can do, but our experienced staff can provide advice about the best treatments and medications to help, as well as supporting people every step of the way.”

Last year’s Stoptober campaign saw 726 people in the borough sign up to quit. 

People who sign up to this year’s campaign will be sent a free stop smoking pack, mobile phone app and text support with daily updates and advice and detailed tools and tips for coping.  They will also benefit from support and encouragement from thousands of quitters across the country through
Stoptober social media.

This year’s campaign is supported by top British comedians including the North West’s Paddy
McGuinness, who will bring a touch of the British sense of humour to help quitters through their challenge.

Stoptober 2014 starts on Wednesday 1 October.  However, people are encouraged to spend September planning ahead and being prepared to quit on this date, including ensuring they have support and replacement therapies in place.

Bury’s Stop Smoking Team can provide support and advice around this and will be on hand
throughout October, and beyond, to help people to stay on track and ensure they continue to be smokefree for life. 

The team will also be heading out and about across the borough, including:

· Bury Light Night on 10 October

· Mill Gate shopping centre on 22 October

Rebecca added: “People will feel the health and financial benefits of giving up smoking almost straight away. Within eight hours, nicotine and carbon monoxide levels in the blood will be halved.  After 24 hours, carbon monoxide and nicotine are eliminated from the body and oxygen levels are returned to normal.

“Coughs and wheezing will decline after three to nine months of not smoking. And in the long-term, after ten years of not smoking, the risk of getting lung cancer falls to half of that of a smoker.”

A range of pharmacies across the borough also deliver stop smoking services on behalf of Bury Council.  This includes free support and a range of products to help people quit smoking.

Lesley Jones, Director of Public Health from Bury Council, is backing Stoptober. She said: “Stoptober is a great opportunity for smokers across Bury to quit together alongside friends, family and
thousands of other people in our area.

“I hope that the campaign will give them the encouragement and support they need to succeed in their 28-day quit attempt.

“Quitting is the single best thing you can do for your health and with the help of Bury’s stop smoking service, the campaign’s support, advice and humour I’m sure this year will be very successful.”

Andrea Crossfield, Chief Executive of North West anti-tobacco social enterprise Tobacco Free Futures added: “I encourage every smoker in the borough to quit for Stoptober 2014 and support those quitting around them throughout their 28 day challenge.

“After a successful Stoptober 2013, which saw 28,000 people in the North West sign up to quit, it
would be great to see even more people pledging to quit this year.”

People can contact Bury’s stop smoking team on 0161 724 2152 or search ‘Stoptober’ online.

ENDS

Issued: 22 September 2014.