Find the support you need to quit smoking for Stoptober
Published: 25 Sep 2018
Stoptober is back again for the seventh year running, and Hertfordshire County Council is encouraging smokers to take advantage of the free support available to help them quit for good.
Hertfordshire resident Vivian O’Reilly had been a smoker for over thirty years when she quit. She said: “I really didn’t want to be smoking at 50 but also I had a bit of a scare; I was worried about a lump in my throat. I told myself that irrespective of the results it was enough to make me do something. Everything was fine happily, but I booked an appointment at the stop smoking clinic."
Alongside the range of free support provided by Stoptober, those wanting to quit can benefit from expert face-to-face advice from local stop smoking services – if you talk to a trained adviser you are up to four times more likely to quit successfully.
“I absolutely feel that the stop smoking service has helped me to quit," said Vivian. "I’ve really surprised myself, I haven’t fallen off the wagon at all and my willpower isn’t the best usually.
“I am now an ex-smoker and I’m not going to waver. I do feel better in myself; I can breathe ...and now I walk up the stairs."
Cabinet Member for Public Health, Richard Roberts, said: “Smoking rates in Hertfordshire are the lowest they have ever been at 12.7 per cent. This is lower than the national average and gives an encouraging picture for the county, however we know that there are still many smokers who want to quit.
“Stoptober is a perfect time to do this because you won’t be on your own. There is more support available than ever before from Stoptober and our local stop smoking services so we urge anyone wanting to give up to get in touch with us.
“Research shows that if you can stop smoking for 28 days you are five times more likely to quit for good. What are you waiting for?”
Smoking remains the biggest cause of death and ill health in the country. Quitting smoking has great benefits for the health of not only those who give up but also for the people around them; it could also save the average smoker nearly £2,000 a year.
Vivian added: “You will never be more proud of yourself than when you look back after those first couple of months. It’s not easy but the sense of achievement with each month is massive.”
Support from Stoptober includes an app, daily emails, Facebook group and this year for the first time, a new web tool to help smokers find the right support. By answering three questions, you can receive tailored advice on smoking cessation support in the form of a Personal Quit Plan.
Hertfordshire Stop Smoking service also supports people to quit using e-cigarettes, which are 95 per cent safer than smoking tobacco as well as being cheaper than conventional cigarettes.
For help to quit, including advice about e-cigarettes, text SMOKEFREE to 80818, call 0800 3893998 or visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/stopsmoking
Search Stoptober online to find out more.