Smokers in East Sussex are being urged to join a month-long stop smoking challenge which could add years to their life.
Health chiefs in the county are backing Stoptober, which encourages people to lay off the cigarettes for 28 days, offering them a range of support to beat their habit.
More than 80,000 people in East Sussex smoke (1), with more than 1,000 smoking-related deaths recorded in the county in 2012. (2)
Smokers who quit for a month are five times more likely to stay smoke-free, and research from Public Health England shows smokers who quit during Stoptober and don’t smoke again could gain an extra seven days of life, every 28 days, for the rest of their life. (3)
Cynthia Lyons, East Sussex acting director of public health, said: “Although levels of smoking continue to fall, it is still the biggest cause of premature death across the country and one in two long-term smokers die as a result of smoking.
“Although everyone knows the risks, quitting is not easy. However, stopping for 28 days is an achievable goal, and people who meet the Stoptober challenge are far more likely to quit smoking for good. Life is precious and many people who quit smoking now can potentially add years to their life.
“We encourage all smokers in East Sussex to give it a try – the help and support they receive during Stoptober, and the knowledge they’re one of thousands of people taking part could be the impetus they need to stop smoking for good.”
To coincide with Stoptober, the county Stop Smoking service is holding events at Conquest Hospital, in Hastings, on Friday 4 October 2013 and Eastbourne District General Hospital on Thursday 10 October 2013. A series of events is running through September at major supermarkets across the county.
Around 160,000 people across the country completed last year’s Stoptober challenge, and this year’s initiative starts on Tuesday 1 October 2013 and runs for 28 days.
Stoptober offers range of free support including stop smoking packs, 28-day mobile phone apps, text support with daily updates, quitting advice and detailed tools and tips for coping, as well as encouragement and support from thousands of people sharing the experience of quitting together through social media.
More information is available online at the Stoptober website
(1) Estimated number of smokers by district/ borough
Eastbourne – 16,989
Hastings – 19,240
Lewes – 15,701
Rother – 10,436
Wealden – 21,665
East Sussex total – 84,031
Source: ASH (Action On Smoking and Health) – 2012
(2) Number of smoking related deaths per year
Eastbourne – 202
Hastings – 184
Lewes – 176
Rother – 206
Wealden – 276
East Sussex total – 1,044
Source: Health Profiles 2012 (Public Health England)
(3) Source: Public Health England, 2013