Stoptober smoking service awareness Image supplied by Central Bedfordshire Council

Central Bedfordshire Council is encouraging residents to support their family, friends, and colleagues this Stoptober, to help them to ditch their cigarettes for 28 days (starting 1 October), to experience the physical and mental health benefits that quitting smoking brings.

It said that smoking remains one of the nation’s leading causes of preventable illness and death in the UK, killing on average 78,000 people each year.

Cllr Tracey Stock, executive member for wellbeing and communities, said:

“Getting involved with Stoptober is a great first step to a healthier life. With a supportive network of friends and family, combined with the use of specialist services available, such as our free Stop Smoking Service, people are much more likely to quit and stay smoke free.

“We would encourage anyone who is thinking of quitting – or those who are looking to help others in their community stop smoking – to give Stoptober a go and share the Stop Smoking team’s details. You don’t need a referral to access the service – anyone looking to stop smoking can get in touch.”

A recent survey of ‘The Stop Smoking Service’ users (in Central Bedfordshire, Bedford and Milton Keynes) found that residents:

  • Said the ‘human element’ in quitting is core and that the role of emotional support from others is very important
  • Felt the positive effect of seeing others, like them, quitting successfully
  • Were worried about their lack of willpower around friends and family who smoke

Someone who quits smoking for the 28 days of Stoptober is five times more likely to stay smoke-free for good.

They are three times more likely to succeed in their goals with behavioural support and medication from a specialist.

Combining professional help with support from family and friends is a huge bonus. Quitting can improve mood and help relieve stress, anxiety, and depression. Those who do quit for a year halve their risk of a heart attack, compared to a smoker.

During Stoptober, stop smoking clinics are running to allow as many residents as possible to receive support to stop smoking. To book an appointment please call free on 0800 013 0553 or visit The Stop Smoking Service

Additional support is available from the Stoptober website.