This Stoptober, smokers across the Isle of Wight are being encouraged to put their lungs first, strengthen their immune system and breathe easier ahead of flu season by joining over 2 million smokers nationwide who have made a quit attempt since 2012 with the annual campaign.
Smoking damages the lungs and airways and harms the immune system, leaving us more vulnerable to infections, such as flu. Smokers generally have an increased risk of contracting respiratory infections and experiencing more severe symptoms. Stopping smoking brings immediate benefits to health, including for people with an existing smoking-related disease.
The smoking prevalence among adults in England is at a record low of 13.9% and in the South East is 12.9%. This year, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) has calculated that in South East, 136,000 people stopped smoking during the coronavirus lockdown.
Official figures show smoking rates in Hampshire & Isle of Wight remain low with just 14.4% of Islanders listed as smokers. The total annual cost of smoking to the NHS across Hampshire & the Isle of Wight is said to be £91.6million.
Terry Blair-Stevens, Public Health Consultant in Health and Wellbeing at Public Health England South East, said:
“While the pandemic has meant this year has been very challenging and stressful for many, Stoptober remains an ideal time for smokers to try and quit – regardless of how many times they may have tried in the past.
“Now more than ever before there are a host of quit smoking aids and free support services available. I would encourage anyone thinking of quitting to visit the Stoptober website, make a plan and commit to quit with Stoptober. Evidence shows you are more likely to quit with support from a local stop smoking service than if you try to go it alone.
“Quitting really is the best thing a smoker can do for their health.”
This year, Stoptober is offering a range of free support tools for those looking to quit, including digital services that are easily accessible for those looking for online support. These tools include the Stoptober app, Facebook messenger bot and online communities, SMS and daily emails. There is also a Personal Quit Plan that helps people find a combination of stop smoking support that’s right for them, with options including expert support from local Stop Smoking Services, stop smoking aids and digital tools.
Search ‘Stoptober’ now for a full range of quitting support options – or visit https://www.nhs.uk/better-health/quit-smoking/.