Published: Monday, 27th September 2021
We are encouraging smokers to access a wide variety of support this Stoptober.
We are supporting the national campaign, led by Public Health England, which encourages people to give up smoking during October.
The campaign is now its 10th year and has seen 2.3million people across England attempt to quit since its launch in 2012.
Stoptober highlights that if a smoker can make it to 28 days smoke free, they are five times more likely to quit for good.
We provide a variety of support for residents, including for those considering stopping for Stoptober, and people ready to stub out the habit for good.
The support available includes:
- Weekly telephone calls, or face to face support at the council’s Smokefree Advice Centre in Chatham, The Archive Centre in Strood or Balmoral Healthy Living Centre in Gillingham. Support is for six weeks and designed to help residents stay smoke free
- A text to quit messaging service
- Stop smoking medication delivered to residents’ doorsteps, or collection from one of our community venues – Medway Council’s A Better Medway team provides free advice and stop smoking medication throughout the year to residents who want to quit. Advisers work with residents to develop a quit plan and then support them to continue to follow their plan
- A weekly online group for expectant mothers, Blooming Bumps. This friendly and relaxed group supports women through their pregnancy and offers tailored advice to help mums and babies get off to the best start.
Smoking rates in Medway have dropped by almost half (44 per cent) in the last eight years, according to figures from Public Health England. It is estimated that approximately 22,700 Medway residents have stopped smoking since 2012.
Quitting smoking is the single best thing someone can do for their health. Smoking is the largest cause of preventable deaths in England and accounts for nearly 75,000 deaths every year.
Cllr David Brake, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder covering Public Health, said: “We offer a range of support for smokers who wish to stub out the habit all year round. We understand that quitting for good can be extremely difficult, especially as the past 18 months may have brought new stress and problems to everyday life. However, stopping smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health. Quitting reduces the risk of heart attacks, improves your breathing and improves your blood circulation. I would encourage all residents who want to quit the habit, or are considering giving up, to find out more about the specialist services available by visiting medway.gov.uk/stopsmoking.”