Thousands sign up for Stoptober as Herts health chiefs spread the word that there’s still time to kick the habit
- Credit: Archant
If you’re thinking of giving up smoking, you’re not alone. Herts health chiefs say that thousands of people across the county have signed up to this month’s Stoptober drive in a mass attempt to quit, and it’s not too late to join them.
One of the determined quitters, 51-year-old Gary, has been hooked for 40 years but now he has been inspired to make a clean break.
He said: “I’d begun to notice how smoking was affecting me when I played squash – I was coughing and wasn’t happy with my endurance any more.
“I visited my local Stop Smoking Service and picked up a prescription for patches and an inhalator. So far I have had one cigarette, which is a big difference from the 20+ a day I was smoking.
“My carbon monoxide reading was high, so I’m looking forward to seeing what that is when I go back to get it checked next week.”
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You can follow Gary’s journey throughout the month by searching Hertfordshire County Council on Facebook.
Councillor Teresa Heritage, cabinet member for public health at Herts County Council, said: “Taking part in Stoptober offers real health benefits – people who stop smoking at any age will see reduced blood pressure, easier breathing and better circulation almost immediately.
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“Stopping smoking can have real financial benefits, too, as quitting will save the average smoker almost £2,000 a year.
“Research shows that if you can stop smoking for 28 days you are five times more likely to stay smoke free – and if you join forces with a partner or friend it can increase your chances of success by up to two thirds.
“And as it is now illegal to smoke in a vehicle if there is a child under 18 present, there’s one more reason to give up.
“It’s not too late to quit, I’d urge anyone thinking about giving up to contact the Stop Smoking Service today. They have a range of support options and will help you to quit even if you are using electronic cigarettes.”
Search Stoptober online to sign up to a range of free quitting tools, support and encouragement. To contact your local Stop Smoking Service, text SMOKEFREE to 80818, call 0800 389 3 998 or visit www.hertsdirect.org/stopsmoking.