Specialist Stop Smoking Service helps nursing home staff to quit for good
A Sunderland based Stop Smoking Service and local nursing home have teamed up to help staff and residents become smoke free.
Sunderland NHS Specialist Stop Smoking Service has supported 12 members of staff and residents at Marigold nursing home to help them quit for a happier and healthier 2021.
The decision to quit came after a staff meeting, where the team became aware of the risks associated with smoking whilst reading through resources from the service. They were also presented with the health benefits of giving up the bad habit, and so they decided to kick it once and for all.
In the face of the global pandemic, and the known increased risk to those who smoke, this move comes at the right time. With some of the care home’s residents suffering from COPD, lung cancer and other respiratory issues, staff were keen to not only quit for their own health but to benefit those around them too.
Bijumon Joseph, manager at Marigold nursing home, said:
“The Sunderland Stop Smoking service was incredibly helpful. The support advisors sent training resources and also provided gift packs for staff members.
“Staff have noted a difference already in their physical and mental health, as well saving money from no longer buying cigarettes.
“I’m glad that the health and wellbeing offer for our staff has had such a positive impact and helped them to make a truly life-saving change.”
Smoking is harmful to the immune system, making smokers more vulnerable to infectious diseases. It also damages your heart and lungs, which can put you at greater risk of developing severe disease from COVID-19.
It’s more important now than ever to look after our health. If you smoke, quitting is one of the best ways to protect yourself and others and reduce your need to use the NHS.
Donna Mason, Stop Smoking Service Specialist of Sunderland Stop Smoking Service said:
“Secondhand smoke can be really harmful, particularly for those suffering with respiratory issues. Not many people realise, but secondhand smoke can be inhaled for up to five hours after someone’s last cigarette so we’re really proud of all the staff and residents for not only improving their own health but protecting those around them too.
“It’s a very worrying time for us all at the moment and we realise that many smokers may be using cigarettes to help to alleviate stress but in fact nicotine addiction causes stress. Cravings for nicotine feel stressful because your body begins to go through withdrawal.
“We’ve seen an increase in people accessing the service since the coronavirus pandemic began and encourage others to join them in quitting. Even if you’ve tried before, don’t give up on quitting because you can do it with the right support.”
The service, run by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and commissioned by Sunderland City Council continues to provide free, friendly and confidential support and advice throughout the pandemic by telephone, online consultations and via a live chat function on its website.
Gerry Taylor, executive director of Public Health and Integrated Commissioning at Sunderland City Council, said: “Not only is smoking the single biggest preventable cause of premature death in the UK, but it also increases the risk of contracting respiratory infections and can make the symptoms of viruses like Covid-19 more severe.
“Stopping smoking brings immediate and long-lasting benefits to health and it is encouraging to see more and more people taking advantage of the support available through Stop Smoking Service.”
To find out more about giving up smoking visit www.stopsmokingsunderland.nhs.uk, call 0191 567 1057 or freephone 0800 169 9913.