Expert advice is available to those looking to kick the habit.
Smokers are being urged to kick the habit in October with the help of Leicestershire County Council’s Quit Ready service.
Public health officials have already helped more than 2,700 people in Leicestershire give up smoking in 2021.
And now they are hoping more people will come forward and seek help for the tenth anniversary of Stoptober – a nationwide month-long drive to improve people’s health and save them money by getting them off tobacco.
Last year 320 people signed up for help from the council for the month.
Councillor Louise Richardson, cabinet lead member for public health, said quitting smoking helps reduce the severity of symptoms of other illnesses and infections.
She said: “We know quitting smoking is a really big challenge for people and often a daunting one but we are here to help people through it.
“It’s always a good idea to think about stopping smoking but now with winter round the corner there couldn’t be a better time to take the next step and try it with our help.
“Smoking increases our risk of developing respiratory infections, including Covid-19, and that it can cause more severe symptoms for those with such infections.
“As flu season approaches, it’s wise to do all we can to reduce our vulnerability to the double danger of flu and Covid-19.
“Our Quit Ready service is free to sign up to and offers expert advice and tailored support.
“It can conveniently be delivered over the phone or webchat.”
Research has shown that those who can go a month without smoking are five times more likely to quit for good and experts say that smokers who use a combination of specialist support and medication are three times more likely to give up smoking successfully.
The council’s Quit Ready service pairs smokers, or recent non-smokers, with a dedicated stop smoking adviser.
Across a 12-week telephone support programme, officials provide free, personalised advice and support as well as access to free stop smoking medication and quitting aids.
Smokers who choose to quit with an e-cigarette will be offered a free starter kit and follow-on nicotine liquids.
This year Stoptober is encouraging those taking the challenge to quit for 28 days to download the official, free NHS Stoptober app.
People who sign up will receive access to support resources, a saving calculator, quick tips, and daily motivation.
To get in touch with Quit Ready Leicestershire, call 0345 646 66 66, text ‘ready’ to 66777 or go to www.quitready.co.uk
To find out more about Stoptober and the Better Health campaign, search ‘Stoptober’ or go to https://www.nhs.uk/better-health/quit-smoking/
Leicestershire Country Council News