The figures from Public Health England show Lancashire has the highest sign-up rates in the North West. Stoptober is a national campaign led by Public Health England to encourage smokers to give up the habit for good, providing extra support and resources during the month of October. The Quit Squad offered a wide range of support throughout Stoptober and encouraged people to get in touch with them for help and advice.
The team provided a range of activities to support the campaign, including a variety of sign-up events at venues including Preston's St George's Shopping Centre and Burnley Town Centre, as well as local children’s and community centres. The team also visited local workplaces to provide advice to employees.
Julie Trezise, Quit Squad Manager at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, said:
"We're pleased to see so many people in Lancashire take control and sign up to the Stoptober challenge. People are four times for likely to stop smoking for good with the help of an NHS stop smoking service than by willpower alone and Stoptober is a great time for people to get some extra support and provides a sense of camaraderie.
"It was great to chat to people from all different walks of life throughout the month about their reasons for deciding to quit and the ways it was already benefitting them.
"Stopping smoking can significantly reduce the risk of illnesses such as heart attacks, strokes and some cancers. It’s never too late to decide to quit smoking which is why we encourage people, whether they smoke, vape or chew, to get in touch with us even if it’s for an informal chat about the facts or what we can do to help them.”
Jo McCullagh, Public Health Specialist for Lancashire County Council's responsible for commissioning the Quit Squad for stop smoking services in Central and East Lancashire said:
"We're really pleased to have done so well this year. The figures mean that 2.4% of our smokers have signed-up to quit with the Stoptober campaign, which will have a huge impact on the health of our county.
"We know that two-thirds of people who smoke actually want to stop and we tried to get as many as possible to quit with help from their stop smoking service. We used posters, online information and media activities featuring stories from local people who have successfully stopped.
"Although Stoptober is over, it's not too late to quit and if you want to give up. You can still contact your local stop smoking service who can provide the support and help you need to quit for good."
Anyone wanting to stop smoking can call the Quit Squad on 0800 328 6297 or visit www.quitsquad.nhs.uk to find more information or to complete a self-referral form online.