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Community stop smoking advisors support ‘Stoptober’ challenge

Thursday, 02 October, 2014
Community stop smoking advisors support ‘Stoptober’ challenge

Smokers are being offered specialist advice and support to help them meet this year’s Stoptober challenge.

Thousands of people every year sign up to make a quit attempt as part of Public Health England’s Stoptober campaign, and advisors at the Northumberland NHS Stop Smoking Service and North Tyneside NHS Stop Smoking Service are encouraging people to also take advantage of the local help on offer.

NHS Stop Smoking Services in Northumberland and North Tyneside offer support, treatment and advice for people who want to stop smoking. 

Northumberland NHS Stop Smoking Services acting manager Brenda Warner says signing up for the Stoptober challenge is a good way for people to kick the habit.

She said: “’People can often make several attempts to go smoke free, but taking the first step is what’s important and getting the right help to do so.

“Research has shown that people who stop smoking for 28 days are five times more likely to stop for good, and people taking part in the Stoptober challenge can get friendly, free and professional support from their local NHS Stop Smoking Service.

“The trained advisors work together with the patient to develop an individual treatment programme which includes medication to deal with cravings, withdrawals and behaviour change.

“It is never too late to stop smoking and the health benefits will be felt very quickly.”

The Northumberland NHS Stop Smoking Service is provided by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. Clinics are available in a range of venues including GP practices, pharmacies and community centres. Some out-of-hours clinics are also available for those who find it difficult to attend appointments during the day.

Northumberland County Councillor Susan Dungworth, policy board member for adult care and public health, said: “The dangers of smoking are well-documented, as are the benefits of quitting. But it is often overlooked how difficult it can be for smokers to give up.

 “A lot of smokers would like to quit, and we urge them to get in touch and find out about the help available. There is support that can be tailored to different people’s needs and really make a difference to help people improve their health.

“You don’t have to kick the habit alone.  Northumberland’s stop smoking services are on hand to support quitters every step of the way.”

Public health nurses from Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust deliver stop smoking services in community venues for North Tyneside NHS Stop Smoking Service, provided by North Tyneside Council.

Gillian Emmerson, public health nurse lead for Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our public health nurses are highly skilled in helping people to stop smoking and have already helped a significant number of people to successfully quit. Our drop-in clinics are taking place in the community close to people’s homes and workplaces to make it easier for them to seek the support they need to quit.

“We know you are four times more likely to stop smoking if you get support from a specialist stop smoking advisor. People accessing the service can expect to benefit from free expert NHS advice and a personalised quit plan, as well as prescription treatments to help beat cravings.”

Councillor Lesley Spillard, whose Cabinet portfolio at North Tyneside Council covers public health, said:  “In North Tyneside we see Stoptober as a key campaign in our public health calendar.  It’s a great call to action for smokers and we are keen to encourage as many as possible to join in, sign up and quit.”

Look out for posters and details of how you can quit at your local GP practice, pharmacy, children’s centre and council buildings.

For further information about Stop Smoking Services in your area, contact Northumberland Stop Smoking Service on 01670 813135 or North Tyneside Stop Smoking Service on 0345 2000 101 and say ‘NO SMOKE’, or text ‘NO SMOKE’ and your postcode to 80800.

To get involved follow Stoptober on Facebook at /stoptober or on Twitter @stoptober