Smoking prevalence in Essex is around 17.6%, meaning that an estimated 200,000 individuals in Essex smoke.
This October, we are urging Essex smokers to sign up to Stoptober, a Public Health England campaign encouraging people to stop smoking for 28 days, offering support and encouragement every step of the way.
Smoking is on the decrease nationally with Public Health England releasing new figures today showing that there are now twice as many ex-smokers (14.6 million people), than current smokers in England (7.2 million) as sales of cigarettes decrease.
Cllr Graham Butland, Cabinet Member for Health, said: “Last year we saw around 5,500 Essex residents register to take part in Stoptober. This year we want to increase this figure dramatically and encourage Essex residents to support each other in quitting.
“Quitting can be hard, but Stoptober offers a variety of proven support, including support packs, apps, emails and face-to-face support, meaning you can choose the right support to suit you and to help you quit.
“If you can stop smoking for 28 days, you’re five times more likely to successfully quit for good. Sign up today and get ready to start your quitting journey with our support on 1 October.”
To stand an even better chance of quitting, local people are encouraged to sign up with their friends, family and colleagues, as evidence reveals that this type of ‘social quitting’ can dramatically improve people’s chances of successfully stopping.
Evidence also shows individuals are much more likely to smoke if their partner or a close friend smokes, showing the powerful influence that people’s social networks have on their own smoking behaviour.
So why quit?
Research shows that after 2 to 12 weeks of quitting, your circulation improves. After 3 to 9 months, coughs, wheezing and breathing problems improve as lung function increases by up to 10% and after 10 years the risk of lung cancer falls to half that of a smoker. Risk of heart attack falls to the same as someone who has never smoked.
You can also save a lot of money by quitting. Public Health England estimate that a 20-a-day smoker can save up to £60 a week, £255 a month and £3,060 year by stopping smoking.
Director of Public Health for Essex, Mike Gogarty said: “Quitting can be hard, but our Public Health team, providers and partners offer localised support to get you started on your smoke free journey.
The benefits of quitting speak for themselves and the improvements it can make to your health are invaluable. I would urge anyone that smokes to sign up today by visiting www.smokefree.nhs.uk/stoptober or searching Stoptober.”