Stoptober is back for the second time, encouraging the nation’s 8 million smokers to quit for 28 days from 1st October.
Stopping for 28 days means people are five times more likely to give up smoking for good and last year over 160,000 people were successful in quitting.
One fifth of adults in Yorkshire and the Humber still smoke and it remains the nation’s biggest killer. Half of long-term smokers die prematurely from a smoking related disease.
In North Yorkshire the NHS stop smoking service will be supporting Stoptober through its existing menu of weekly one-to-one, drop-in and group stop-smoking programmes including those in Thirsk, Bedale, Selby, Malton, Skipton and Catterick.
In addition to the regular timetable there will also be extra weekly sessions with the specialist stop smoking service in Harrogate, Scarborough, Northallerton and York or people can get support from a trained stop smoking advisor at one of 77 participating pharmacies across the county and at most GP practices.
There is also a dedicated smoking in pregnancy service, offering individually tailored behavioural support to women and their partners or family members as they prepare for the arrival of their baby.
Children of people who smoke are twice as likely to take up the habit themselves. Equally worrying is that breathing in second-hand smoke increases a child’s risk of developing lung cancer by 24%.
Dr Lincoln Sargeant, Director of Public Health in North Yorkshire said:
It is essential that smokers are encouraged to quit for the benefit of everyone in their family and to reduce the 80,000 smoking related deaths each year.
Most people who smoke would like to quit, so the 28-day Stoptober challenge is a real opportunity to kick the habit. Last year thousands of smokers joined in and are still smoke free. And by not smoking, you are encouraging others, particularly young people, not to start. Taking part in the challenge is the first step to a longer and healthier life.
To find out more about these and other sessions you can phone the North Yorkshire NHS Stop Smoking Service on 0300 303 1603 Monday to Friday 9-5.
Smokers can also search ‘Stoptober’ online to order their free resources from the campaign website, www.smokefree.nhs.uk/Stoptober
Support services available to order or download include a Stoptober pack, a 28-day mobile phone app and 28-day text messaging service.