Since its inception in 2012, the mass month-long stop smoking campaign starting 1st October has successfully helped over 2.5 million smokers take steps to quit.
After just 48 hours without a cigarette, your sense of taste and smell improves. New research also confirms that after two smokefree weeks, many have easier breathing, more energy and money. On average, a smoker could save £38 a week by quitting smoking – around £2,000 a year.
Not smoking for just 28 days also makes it five times more likely you will give up the habit for good; and you’re up to 10 times less likely to light up with the right help.
The KCC-commissioned One You Kent Smokefree service can also put you in touch with highly trained advisers to guide and encourage you every step of the way.
Run by the Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT), the One You Kent Smokefree service provides:
- face-to-face, phone or video support
- your own personal quit plan packed full of tips to suit your lifestyle, and
- all-year-round help and advice.
Get started today and fill in a referral form. A friendly advisor will then call you to talk through the support available where you live. If you prefer, you can call the service on 0300 123 1220 or text ‘quit’ to 87023.
There are now twice as many ex-smokers in the UK than smokers and Kent smoking rates continue to fall – from around one-in-five people (20.2%) in 2011 to less than one-in-nine (11.6%) in 2022.
“When you stop smoking, good things start to happen’ – including lower blood pressure, easier breathing, better circulation, improved mental health and healthier finances”
Dr Anjan Ghosh said: “The trend for stopping smoking is moving in the right direction but smoking still remains the leading cause of preventable illness and death in England.
“As well as taking 10-years off a life-long smokers life, it causes cancers, strokes and heart attacks, increases the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's, affects the health of those around you – and costs money.
“As this year’s Stoptober theme states 'When you stop smoking, good things start to happen’ – including lower blood pressure, easier breathing, better circulation, improved mental health and healthier finances – including lower blood pressure, easier breathing, better circulation, improved mental health and healthier finances.
“For all these reasons, Stoptober is a great time for anyone continuing to smoke to give quitting, along with thousands of others, a go.
“To help adult smokers to stop, vaping is a useful tool and is less harmful than smoking. However, it is important if you don’t smoke, don’t start vaping.”
Sarah Crysell, NHS Health Checks and Specialist Smokefree Service Programme Manager, at KCHFT, said: “Our friendly, professional team can help you go smoke free – not just for October 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 up to 10 times more likely to quit with help, so why not get in touch to find the support you need.”
Veteran David Kerr was a smoker for more than 30 years, before a lung check trial piloted in Kent revealed he had early-stage lung cancer.
David, from Dover, was smoking 40 cigarettes a night during his shifts as a security guard at a haulage yard when he had an invite from the NHS Kent and Medway Cancer Alliance to have a lung health check, designed to spot lung cancer earlier.
David said: “During my check, I was honest for the first time about how much I smoked. I’d always downplayed my smoking to doctors before because I didn’t want a lecture.”
Following a CT scan and more tests, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. David had surgery at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London, along with support to help him quit smoking from KCHFT’s Lung Health Check Adviser Diane Jones.
David said: “I was a committed smoker and never thought anything would make me stop but I thought, I need to quit, those NHS staff are working so hard to keep me alive.
“Diane was fantastic, not pushy at all. Sessions with her where never like an appointment, it always felt like going for a coffee with a friend. She was the reason I quit smoking…she was just fantastic.”
“...don’t delay – get in touch with One You Kent’s Smokefree service today”
KCC Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, Dan Watkins, said: “Quitting smoking takes a lot of willpower and there is nothing wrong in saying you need others to find that willpower for you and help you kick the habit. It’s a step that could quite literally save your life; so don’t delay – get in touch with One You Kent’s Smokefree service today.”