Smokers encouraged to take part in Stoptober 2021

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Stoptober is back to launch its 10th mass quit attempt, calling on smokers in England to join the 2.3 million others who have made a quit attempt with the campaign since it launched a decade ago in 2012.

Over 6 million adults in England still smoke, and it remains the leading cause of premature death, with almost 75,000 preventable deaths a year.

A new nationwide survey of 2,000 current smokers released today has found that nearly half (45%) have been smoking more since the first lockdown began. Key reasons reported are due to being bored in the lockdowns (43%) or the pandemic making them more anxious (42%). 

Currently, there are more than 95,000 smokers in Northamptonshire. Corby has the highest prevalence of smokers in England with 27.5% of the population classed as smokers. 21% of the population in the Wellingborough smoke and 18.8% in Northampton. Whilst the County’s smoking prevalence (16.4) is not too dissimilar to the national average (13.4), the high rates in some of our towns remain a cause for concern.

The disruptive impact of the pandemic on smoking patterns make this year’s Stoptober mass quit attempt more important than ever. Stopping smoking brings multiple benefits to health, some immediate and others that build over time. These include being able to start moving better, being able to breathe more easily and saving money. The average smoker can save £1,875.60 a year by quitting smoking.

Last year, Northamptonshire’s Stop smoking service set 274 quit dates for Stoptober, and 184 of those people successfully quit smoking. You are three times more likely to quit if you get support from a dedicated service, with ongoing support, advice and nicotine replacement products. Northamptonshire’s Stop Smoking service has set more than 1,400 quit dates since April this year.

Stoptober is based on research that if a smoker can make it to 28 days smoke free, they are five times more likely to quit for good. The campaign first launched in 2012 when one in five adults smoked (19.3%); this has since fallen to one seven in England (13.9%).

Richard Holley, Area Manager and Tobacco Control Lead, Northamptonshire Stop Smoking Service. said: “Stoptober is the perfect time to try and stop smoking, because thousands of other smokers are quitting at the same time as you. There is something very motivating about all being in it together, and I would encourage all smokers to get involved. Since April this year, our service has set quit dates with more than 1,400 Northamptonshire smokers.

“Locally, the Northamptonshire Stop Smoking Service offers 12 weeks of specialist support, which includes regular telephone appointments with a Stop Smoking Advisor and a free course of nicotine replacement therapy.

Lucy Wightman, Director of Public Health for North and West Northamptonshire Councils said: “Smoking remains the leading cause of premature death in England and sadly, we have seen increases in the rates of smoking prevalence during the pandemic.

“If you are thinking about quitting, doing so with the support of our service means you are not alone, you are three times more likely to succeed with the support of our service than going it alone, and you have 12 weeks of support to help you through the process. Many smokers across Northamptonshire are already benefitting from the additional support that the stop smoking service is able to provide.

It’s never too late to quit smoking. Start today and if you stay smoke free for 28 days you are five times more time likely to quit for good.