Lancashire’s stop-smoking service, Quit Squad, is encouraging smokers across the county to ditch cigarettes this Stoptober and embark on the journey towards breaking the habit for good.
The year 2021 marks the 10th anniversary of Stoptober and over the last ten years two million people have used the month of October to attempt quitting smoking for good. The month-long campaign is focused on the fact that if you stop smoking for 28 days you are five times more likely to quit for good.
Those attempting to quit can find they can save up to £36 a week and as well as being good for your pocket, your body will thank you too.
When you stop smoking your body starts fixing itself almost immediately and enables you to start doing much more. Your circulation starts to improve and breathing becomes easier, so you know that you are doing some good and will feel the benefits.
The effects of the pandemic have meant that people have had a stronger focus on health and wellbeing, however the stress and boredom of lockdowns meant that for many people quit attempts were hard to sustain.
Smoking remains the largest preventable cause of illness and premature death in England. While many people over the age of 35 are trying to quit, in 2019 there has been an increase in smoking in the under 35s from 18 per cent to 24 per cent.
If you live in Lancashire and want to talk to someone about quitting and need support, Quit Squad is available to anyone over the age of 12 and are a team of specialist advisors who will work with you to develop your own quit plan. They can advise how specialist medicines and the use of e-cigarettes can support you to quit and offer free, non-judgemental advice to help you start your journey to quitting for good
For smokers who want pocket-sized support, you can download the ‘My Quit Route App’ or the new ‘NHS Quit Smoking App’. Both of the applications show how much you have saved each week, monitors your progress by counting the days and has tips and guides for managing cravings. You can also include your motivation for wanting to give up smoking.
Quit Squad, is a service delivered by Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust and commissioned by Lancashire County Council.
County Councillor Michael Green, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said; "Stoptober is a great time to quit smoking. It's now in its 10th year and has helped thousands of people across Lancashire to live healthier, smoke-free lives over the last decade.
"There's no doubt that stopping smoking is a challenge, but our team of experts at Quit Squad offer excellent support and many people who use the service go on to stop for good.
"Research shows you're much more likely to give up for good with the help of services like this, so I would encourage smokers in Lancashire to visit the Quit Squad website or call the helpline as soon as possible."
Tracy Sutton, Quit Squad manager said:
“The past year has been stressful for people of all ages in many different ways. Quitting is tough and having support makes it more likely that you will quit smoking for good. If you are ready to quit, we are here to support you to set your goal for Stoptober and make the change which will improve your long-term health and benefit your finances too.”
There are a number of ways you can access the service. For those with digital access you can visit the website https://www.quitsquad.nhs.uk and select a self-referral option but if you prefer to speak to someone, you can call the team on 08003286297.
To find out more about the Stoptober campaign, visit Quit smoking this Stoptober - Better Health - NHS (www.nhs.uk)