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Smokers urged to sign up and stub out habit as Stoptober looks to tackle 17% in Kent who still puff away

09:08 20 September 2016

Quit smoking

Quit smoking

Marc Bruxelle

Annual campaign begins next month, but those wishing to take part are urged to sign up now

Smokers are being urged to quit the habit after the popular and successful Stoptober campaign launches.

Kent County Council is backing the campaign, supporting smokers to sign up and stub out.

Data reveals 17 per cent of those living in the county smoke - a figure above the south east and national average.

Now KCC wants smokers to engage with the annual Public Health England programme which offers a range of services for those who want to quit.

KCC director for public health, Andrew Scott-Clark, said: “Research shows that if you stop smoking for 28 days you are five times more likely to quit for good. We are encouraging our 200,600 smokers to take part in this year’s Stoptober campaign and take advantage of the quit kits and other resources and services available locally – we’re aiming for a smokefree Kent.”

Commissioned by KCC, Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT) offers year-round support to quit smoking and also runs a series of special Stoptober Quit Clubs.

Anne Ford, assistant director for health improvement for KCHFT said: “Our friendly and professional team can support you to go smokefree in October and stay smokefree, for life. We’ve got hundreds of different quit clubs and one-to-one clinics across Kent so you’re sure to find a time and place to suit you. This year as well as personal sessions we’re also giving away hundreds of free quit kits to anyone who wants to have a go at the month-long challenge by themselves. You’re up to 10 times more likely to quit with help, so get the support you need.”

Last year, out of the 2.5 million smokers nationally who made a quit attempt during Stoptober, 500,000 people (20 per cent) were successful - the highest recorded success rate and up from just 13.6 per cent six years ago.

Dr Gina Radford, deputy chief medical officer, said: “While we know that quitting smoking is not easy, this Stoptober is a perfect time to try again. The best thing a smoker can do for their health is to stop smoking. There is more help and support available now than ever before. The introduction of standardised packs removes the glamorous branding and brings health warnings to the fore and e-cigarettes, which many smokers find helpful for quitting, are now regulated to assure their safety and quality.”

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