There's never been a better time to go smoke free - smokers urged to quit for Stoptober
With colder weather and the flu season just around the corner, smokers across Stockton-on-Tees are being asked to take up the 28-day Stoptober challenge.
More than two million people nationally have attempted to stop smoking during the month of October since the campaign was launched in 2012.
Smoking damages the lungs as well as harming your immune system, leaving you more vulnerable to the flu and other respiratory infections with severe symptoms.
Councillor Jim Beall, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Health, Leisure and Culture, said: "Over the years Stoptober has proven to be a really good challenge that motivates a lot of people to begin their journey of quitting smoking.
"During the COVID-19 pandemic, we're all more mindful of our health and the devastating toll that the virus can have on our lungs and respiratory system. We know that if you smoke, you generally have an increased risk of contracting respiratory infections such as coronavirus and your symptoms could likely be more severe.
"Lockdown saw a surge nationally in people giving up smoking as they felt it was a chance to take stock and make a change that will improve your health dramatically.
"Not only will you feel the benefits physically and financially, you'll also be potentially helping the NHS by reducing strain on the system at this time of exceptional demand.
"With that in mind, and research showing you're five times more likely to stop for good if you can make it through the 28 days of Stoptober, there's never been a better time to go smoke-free for good."
I'm ready for the challenge! How do I get started?
Many people attempt to quit using willpower alone but there are lots of handy tips and tools available if you're taking on the Stoptober challenge:
- Download the free NHS Stoptober app where you can track your progress, see how much money you're saving and access daily support throughout October.
- If you'd like to speak to a trained advisor, contact the Stockton Stop Smoking Specialist Service on 01642 383819 or 01642 383818 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.
- Join the official Facebook group with more than 4,000 like-minded people to share your story and read the inspirational success of others.
- Get a free, personal quit plan from the NHS.
- Find out more about stop smoking aids to help you manage your cravings.