Will you be quitting smoking in Stoptober?

Health / Mon 14th Sep 2015 at 08:45am

WITH data showing that almost 19% of residents in the Essex smoke, Essex County Council is urging smokers to sign up to Stoptober – the country’s 28 day mass quit attempt from Public Health England – to receive support and encouragement every step of the way.

And 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.

What’s more, Essex County Council is encouraging people to create a community spirit by thinking about what they could spend the time it takes to smoke a cigarette doing instead. On average it takes four minutes to smoke a cigarette, time which could be spent emailing a friend, checking on an elderly neighbour, emptying the dishwasher or simply relaxing. Residents can get involved in the campaign by tweeting @Essex_CC with their 4 minute ideas and use the hashtag #StoptoberEssex

Cllr Anne Brown, Cabinet Member for Communities and Healthy Living, said: “Recent government figures revealed the number of people to quit smoking in Essex in the last year is the second highest in the country, and we are keen to see these figures increase.

“Quitting can be hard but signing up to Stoptober means you can choose the right support for you from the range of free, proven quitting support including packs, apps, emails and face-to-face to help you quit for 28 days and beyond.

“We’re also encouraging Essex residents to help each other, by creating a community on social media with the hashtag #StoptoberEssex and thinking how they could put the four minutes it takes to smoke a cigarette to better use.

“If you can stop smoking for 28 days, you’re five times more likely to stay quit. Sign up today and get ready to start your quitting journey with our support on 1 October.”

Over a quarter of a million people across the country signed up to Stoptober last year with more than half making it to 28 days; this year, it is expected the campaign will welcome the millionth sign up.

You can sign up online by visiting www.smokefree.nhs.uk/stoptober or searching Stoptober. You’ll also be able to sign up the atrium at County Hall on 30 September, as well as get resources and submit your four minute idea by sticking it to a giant clock.

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