|* Dr Ellen Wright|
by our RBG Correspondent | Woolwich
Stoptober, the biggest stop smoking challenge of its kind, is returning next month and residents who smoke in Greenwich are being encouraged to consider signing up for it now.
Throughout the month trained stop smoking advisors will be out and about in the Royal Borough offering information and advice, as well as signposting people to the local services where smokers can get support in helping them quit.
Launched in 2012, Stoptober is the 28-day stop smoking challenge from Public Health England that encourages and supports smokers across England towards quitting for good.
Those who quit for more than 28 days will notice health, physical and financial benefits and an improved sense of taste and smell, as well as reducing their risk of heart and lung disease.
More than 250,000 smokers across England and Wales were estimated to have stubbed out their cigarettes during last year’s Stoptober campaign.
This year’s campaign coincides with a number of changes in the law, including a ban on smoking in private vehicles that are carrying a child aged under 18.
Dr Ellen Wright, local GP and chair of NHS Greenwich Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said local people could sign up to Stoptober now and start preparing to quit smoking from 1 October.
“If you can stop smoking for 28 days, you are five times more likely to stay smoke free,” she said.
“If you smoke, giving up is probably the biggest single step you can take to improve your health and I’d encourage anyone who wants to give up smoking to sign up for Stoptober.”
|* Cllr Denise Scott-McDonald|
Cllr Denise Scott-McDonald, the Royal Borough of Greenwich’s Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing and Public Health (right), said: “Smoking is responsible for one in every five deaths in adults aged over 35 in England, and half of all long-term smokers will die prematurely due to a smoking-related disease," adding “Giving up smoking increases your chances of living a longer and healthier life, even if you've smoked for 40 years."
Cllr Scott-McDonald said: “As anyone who’s given up can tell you, the benefits to your feelings of wellbeing – as well as to your wallet – begin early and can last for the rest of your life."
“Of course giving up is a real challenge, but the aim of the Stoptober campaign is to remind people that you are not alone and there is support available.”
The Royal Borough will once again be working with Charlton Athletic Community Trust to ensure that stop smoking advisors are out and about throughout the borough during October. Additionally, advice on helping to quit is also available at local pharmacies, GP practices and drop in clinics.
From 1 October 2015 it will be illegal:
- for retailers to sell electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) or e-liquids to someone under 18
- for adults to buy (or try to buy) tobacco products or e-cigarettes for someone under 18
- to smoke in private vehicles that are carrying someone under 18.
Secondhand smoke is dangerous for anyone, but children are especially vulnerable, because they breathe more rapidly and have less developed airways, lungs and immune systems. Over 80% of cigarette smoke is invisible and opening windows does not remove its harmful effect. The law is changing to protect children and young people from such harm.
Greenwich residents can get stop smoking advice throughout the year at the following locations:
* Tuesdays, 10am-5pm at Valley Central, SE7
* Wednesdays, 10am-5pm at the Eltham Centre, SE9
* Thursdays 12pm-7pm at Thamesmere Leisure Centre, SE28
* Thursdays 5pm-7pm at Valley Central, SE7
* Thursdays 10am-12pm, at Coldharbour Library, SE9
* Fridays 10am-3pm, at Clover Health Centre
* Saturdays 11am-3pm, at the Woolwich Centre Library, SE18
Other support offered includes:
* A stop smoking advisor for pregnant women and new mums
* Stop smoking sessions for young people
* ‘Quit’ sessions for smokers who are mobility impaired
* Workplace-based stop smoking campaigns
To sign up for Stoptober in Greenwich, and for more details about the support to help you quit, call 0800 587 5833 or text QUIT to 60060 or visitwww.greenwichstopsmoking.org.uk.