Sefton Council has released five steps you can take now to increase your chances of quitting smoking on January 1, using the 1,031 smokers who signed up to Stoptober in Sefton as inspiration to become smokefree.
Local Stoptober statistics released this week reveal Stoptober sign up figures have increased by 93, nearly a 10% increase, compared to the 2014 campaign. Smokers who were successful this Stoptober and remained smokefree will already be feeling the health benefits such as an increased sense of taste and smell, higher energy levels, an improvement in circulation and breathing. The average 20-a-day smoker will also now be saving around £250 a month, providing more money for days out and holidays in 2016.
Anyone who didn’t take part in Stoptober this year or didn’t make the full 28-day challenge are encouraged to start planning to become smokefree this New Year. Steps for preparing to quit include:
- Contact Sefton’s stop smoking service to set up a meeting
- Set a quit date
- Tell family and friends you plan to quit to gain their support and help
- Anticipate and plan for challenges while quitting
- Think about how you may feel when you first quit but remember that this is temporary, no matter how powerful it feels at the time.
- Know your smoking triggers (specific people, places, or activities that make you feel like smoking) so you can learn to deal with them.
- Plan ahead and come up with a list of short activities you can do when you get a craving.
- Remove cigarettes and other tobacco from your home‚ car‚ and work
Research released earlier this year showed that most people try to quit cold turkey, however this is the least effective method of quitting smoking. Smokers are four times more likely to quit for good with the help of a trained NHS professional and stop smoking services are available throughout the year to offer free support, guidance and medication on prescription to local people.
If you would like to quit this New Year contact your local stop smoking service, “SUPPORT”, on 0300 100 1000.
Cllr Ian Maher, Leader of Sefton Council, said: “A new year is the chance for a new start and I would urge everyone across Sefton who would like to quit smoking to make 2016 the year they become smoke free for good!
“We had a fantastic response to Stoptober across the borough and with thousands of residents taking up the challenge and accessing the support of our local stop smoking services.
“Don’t forget you can also join together and quick with friends, family and colleagues to help you in your quite attempt.”
Andrea Crossfield, Chief Executive of North West social enterprise Tobacco Free Futures said: “It was great to see so many people quitting this Stoptober who will already be feeling the health benefits of living a smokefree lifestyle. For anyone who didn’t complete the 28-day challenge it’s never too late to quit. Research shows that two thirds of smokers want to stop smoking and New Year is a great opportunity to make a change and quit for good.
“15.9% of adults still smoke in Sefton and we know that one in two long-term smokers die from their addiction. Don’t delay, contact your local stop smoking service and make 2016 the year that you make a change and put your health first.”