This year has seen a surge in smokers in England trying to quit and a big increase in success rates.
Public Health England outline that:
- New data published by UCL show an increase of nearly a quarter (22%) in quit attempts compared to 2019 and a quitting success rate of 23%, the highest in over a decade
- Smoking prevalence in England is currently at an all-time low of 13.9%
- 1 million smokers in the UK quit during the coronavirus lockdown
Smoking damages the lungs and airways and harms the immune system, leaving us more vulnerable to infections, such as flu. Smokers generally have an increased risk of contracting respiratory infections and experiencing more severe symptoms.
By accessing local support through LiveWell Dorset, smokers are four times more likely to quit successfully. In addition to behaviour change coaching over the phone, LiveWell can post smokers packs of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) or signpost them to access smoking cessation support from a local pharmacy.
Cllr Laura Miller, Dorset Council’s Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Health, said, “Quitting smoking is hugely beneficial for your health at any time, but now more than ever is a great time to quit. We know that quitting can be difficult, so we’d encourage Dorset residents to reach out for support from LiveWell Dorset.”
Someone who stopped smoking after being inspired by a presentation by LiveWell Dorset is Emma Friendship-Kilburn, 37. She said, “I started smoking at 13, and now looking back, I realise what a young age it was to form a life-long habit. I always wanted to stop, but the cravings got the better of me.
“I was living such a healthy life other than my smoking habit.I was careful with my nutrition and my activity levels but was fed up with feeling like a social outcast and constantly worrying about the smell. Not to mention the effect I knew that smoking was having on my lungs, my skin, my teeth and gums.”
After seeing the LiveWell Dorset’s presentation and reading and listening to their advice, it tipped her into an ‘I can do it’ mindset.
“I finally took the plunge to curb my habit during lockdown,” Emma said. “Since quitting I have noticed a significant improvement in my health, I can run for much longer, and people have even commented on how glowing my skins looks. I would recommend using a service to quit and using the opportunity of Stoptober as a starting point.”
Dr Stuart Burley, Head of Programmes for Public Health Dorset, said, “Quitting smoking is the single most effective thing you can do to improve your health. It’s never too late to quit, no matter your age, and the benefits are almost immediate. Within 48 hours our lungs begin to clear out mucus and other smoking debris. Carbon monoxide is eliminated from the body and our oxygen supply rapidly improves.”
Stoptober provides the information and support people need to quit smoking for 28 days, based on research that if a smoker can make it to 28 days smoke-free, they are five times more likely to quit for good.
Take your next step to Better Health by joining the 1 million smokers in the UK who quit during the coronavirus lockdown. Contact LiveWell Dorset on freephone 0800 840 1628 or at livewelldorset.co.uk.
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