HEALTH MATTERS: Kick the habit and enjoy the benefits

Dr Debbie Austin, High Peak GP and member of the Governing Body of NHS North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group. Photo contributed.
Dr Debbie Austin, High Peak GP and member of the Governing Body of NHS North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group. Photo contributed.
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Smokers are being encouraged to kick the habit in October as part of a yearly national campaign aimed at getting people to quit en masse.

Launched on October 1, the ‘Stoptober’ campaign is being backed by GPs from NHS North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group, and Derbyshire County Council.

As well as featuring TV and radio adverts, the campaign will also include promotions in local pharmacies and is being supported by Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation.

Smokers taking part in the campaign can expect to receive a free Stoptober preparation pack, an online and smartphone app, and a 28-day text support service helping them to stub out the habit for good.

Evidence shows that if smokers can quit for 28 days they are five times more likely to stay smoke-free.

Smoking is one of the biggest causes of death in the UK. What’s more, if you smoke 20 a day and quit at the beginning of October, you’ll have around £500 extra to spend on yourself and your family by Christmas.

Stoptober is a rallying call to those people who want to stop smoking. We know it can be difficult but this is a great time for everyone to give it a try. Stopping for a month is a great achievement and will really boost the long-term chances of remaining a non-smoker, and then being able to enjoy the health benefits and having more money in your pocket.

Smokers can search for ‘Stoptober’ online or ask their local pharmacist for a free support pack. If you are registered with a doctor in Derbyshire you can also call the Derbyshire stop smoking service on freephone 0800 085 22 99.

For more information visit www.smokefree.nhs.uk/stoptober.

By Dr Debbie Austin

High Peak GP and member of the Governing Body of NHS North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group