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Along with colder nights and fallen leaves, October also sees the return of Stoptober, with Wiltshire Council once again backing the annual national stop smoking campaign, to help support locals to quit smoking for good.
Quitting smoking is easier with the right support. This year Stoptober is providing a free online personal quit plan – which helps smokers find the right support for them.
Another useful tool which provides a whole host of support and advice is the free Stoptober app on the NHS website. The app helps to track people’s progress, see how much money is being saved and provides daily support. People can access the app by going to the website.
In Wiltshire 86% of people are non-smokers with14% of adults known to smoke (Tobacco Control Profile 2018) compared with the national figure of 14.9%.
In the county, the Wiltshire Stop Smoking Service supported 1,905 smokers to quit from April 2017 to March 2018, with 51% of these being smokefree at least four weeks after their quit date.
In April 2018 Wiltshire Council established the Wiltshire Smokefree Alliance to drive forward the creation of a smoke-free generation.
The alliance aspires to achieve the aims set out in the Government’s 2017 Tobacco Control Plan for England by the end of 2022 to reduce adult smoking prevalence to 12% and smoking in pregnancy to 6%. The alliance is made up of multiple partners including public health, NHS organisations (primary and secondary care) and a range of other health and social care services, police, fire and military.
It is chaired by Wiltshire Council cabinet member for public health, Jerry Wickham. The alliance supports the aims of the Wiltshire health and wellbeing board strategy to encourage Wiltshire residents to live long, happy and healthier lives through being smoke-free.
Jerry Wickham said, “Smoking inevitably increases the risk of getting a number of serious health issues.
“If you want to make a real go of quitting smoking, a strong support network is key. With all its resources and expert advice, Stoptober is the perfect opportunity to quit for good.
“In Wiltshire, we have a great track record of helping people, and we have less smokers in our county than the national average. So, I ask that people don’t put off quitting until tomorrow, now’s the time.”
For more information, and a rundown of the resources available, people should visit www.nhs.uk/ oneyou/be-healthier/quit-smoking/ stoptober/. The Wiltshire Stop Smoking Service offers support in most GP practices, participating pharmacies and via the Health Trainer Service.