Get help to quit this No Smoking Day

Woman's hand crushing a packet of cigarettes

Kent County Council (KCC) is urging smokers to make this No Smoking Day the date they kick the deadly habit and get free support from One You local smokefree services to stub out cigarettes.

The national awareness day on Wednesday, 13th March, highlights the heavy cost of smoking and every year inspires thousands tomake a quit attempt to improve their health.

Up to two out of three lifelong smokers will die from smoking.

As well as being the world’s leading cause of preventable disease and premature death, smoking increases the risk of dementia, Alzheimer's, high blood pressure, respiratory disease and cancers. It’s also expensive and adds to cost-of-living pressures on households grappling stretched budgets.

But while national and local smoking rates continue to fall, around one in nine people in Kent, 11.6% of the county’s population, still smoke.

If you’re one of Kent’s 167,000 smokers, you don’t need to wait to be referred by your GP to get help to quit. You can find out more about the One You Kent Smokefree Service and sign yourself up by filling out a simple self-referral form at You can also Text ‘QUIT’ to 87023, or call 0300 123 1220, to speak to a helpful adviser.

Commissioned by KCC and run by Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT) across Kent, this free friendly service offers a range of help to stop smoking that fits in with your life. This includes face-to-face, phone or video guidance, access to free nicotine replacement products and your own personal quit plan packed full of tips.

Retired care worker Kim Wallis finally quit smoking with support from One You Kent a year after losing her beloved husband David to cancer.

Kim Wallis with son Lee (left) and grandson Charlie

Kim with son Lee (left) and grandson Charlie

The Dover grandmother-of-six was spending £60 a week smoking and had made several attempts to stop when she was invited by her GP to have a NHS Lung Health Check.

The check is part of a pilot programme offered to current and ex-smokers aged 55 to 75 in Dover. It’s run by East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust and funded by the Kent and Medway Cancer Alliance.

Luckily, Kim got the all-clear from her check and was referred to One You for help to stop smoking. Her immediate reaction was: “It won’t hurt to give it a go one more time.”

Kim had support from Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust’s Smokefree Adviser, Helen Burt.

Kim said: “Helen was lovely and it really helped she could visit me at home. I struggle with some health problems and don’t drive so it can be difficult for me to get to appointments. We talked about what might suit me and what I’d tried before to quit. The vape and nicotine lozenges alongside her support got me through.”

Adviser Helen said: “Kim has done so well, I’m so proud of her. She cared for her husband at home after he was diagnosed with cancer and passed away at home on Christmas Eve. She quit a year on from his death, which must have been such a difficult time for her.”

Since stopping smoking Kim has found walking her two adorable dachshunds – Gordan and Gus – a little easier. She also has more money each week to help cover essentials.

Headshot of Dr Anjan Ghosh

...this No Smoking Day we want everyone to know there is free support available to kick the lethal habit and start enjoying better health

Dr Anjan Ghosh KCC’s Director of Public Health

KCC’s Director of Public Health, Dr Anjan Ghosh, said: “We know vaping is a useful tool to help adult smokers like Kim quit. However, evidence around the harms of vaping, particularly in under-18s, is still developing; it is not risk-free and anyone who doesn’t smoke should not vape, especially children.

”We also know smoking heavily impacts our most vulnerable residents, including those with poor mental health; so, this No Smoking Day we want everyone to know there is free support available to kick the lethal habit and start enjoying better health.”

Councillor Dan Watkins

85% of smokers and ex-smokers regret ever picking up a cigarette in the first place

Dan Watkins KCC Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health

Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, Dan Watkins, said: “Smoking kills and 85% of smokers and ex-smokers regret ever picking up a cigarette in the first place but struggle to stop because of an addiction they do not want.

“If you smoke please use this National No Smoking Day to make a quit attempt. You’re at least three times more likely to stub out cigarettes with professional support, so please get in touch with our free stop smoking services. Beating any addiction is hard and you don’t need to try to do it alone.”

Sarah Crysell, KCHFT’s NHS Health Checks and Specialist Smokefree Service Programme Manager, said:“Our friendly, professional team can help you go smokefree – not just on No Smoking Day but for life.

“We have a variety of support offers available which can be accessed in person, over the phone or virtually across Kent so you’re sure to find a time and place to suit you. You’re much more likely to quit with help, so why not get in touch to find the support you need.”