Many residents will be taking part in Stoptober this month, a national campaign aimed at encouraging people to stop smoking, a habit which is one of the biggest causes of death and illness in the UK. For those who have missed the start of the Stoptober campaign, the Isle of Wight’s public health team is reminding residents that support is available all year round for those wishing to kick the habit.

Residents are invited to speak to local experts for tips and advice on how to stop smoking at a drop-in event in St Thomas’ Square in Newport on Friday 28th October between 10:00 and 15:00.

On the Isle of Wight it is estimated 22,000 people aged 16 plus smoke. Of these each year on average 850 will be admitted to hospital and around 115 will die from a smoking-attributable condition.

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Smoking is not just harmful to the smoker. Breathing in second hand smoke – also known as passive smoking – increases your risk of getting the same health conditions as smokers. For example, breathing in second hand smoke increases a non-smoker’s risk of developing lung cancer by about a quarter.

Babies and children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of second hand smoke. A child who is exposed to passive smoke is at increased risk of developing chest infections, meningitis, a persistent cough and, if they have asthma, their symptoms will get worse. They are also at increased risk of cot death and an ear infection called glue ear.

Rida Elkheir, director of public health at the Isle of Wight Council, said:

“We understand how difficult it can be for people to give up smoking but there are many products available to help people beat their addiction and reduce withdrawal symptoms.

“The health problems linked to smoking are well known and we would encourage people to take control of their own health and wellbeing by taking the first important step to quitting smoking – contacting their GP or an NHS stop smoking advisor for information and advice on the best treatment to suit for their individual needs.”

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