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Western Trust says: “Make this October your Stoptober”


STOPtober Logo

The Smoking Cessation Team at the Western Trust is challenging the public to turn this October into “Stoptober” by giving up smoking for the month.

The national campaign aims to help people to quit smoking and improve their health by giving up smoking for 28 days.

Smoking is the single greatest cause of preventable illness, premature death and health inequality throughout Northern Ireland. Each year around 2400 people die prematurely from smoking-related illnesses such as coronary heart disease, stroke and many cancers.

Commenting on the Stoptober campaign, Western Trust Smoking Cessation Coordinator, Michelle Scott, said:

“Smoking is the biggest cause of preventable deaths in the UK with an estimated one in two smokers dying from a smoking-related disease.

“The Stoptober challenge encourages smokers to give up smoking for 28 days, because research shows that if a person stops smoking for 28 days or more, they are four times more likely to stop for good.

“There is also a financial benefit for those who stop smoking – with the cost of tobacco now at an all-time high, quitting a 20-a-day habit will deliver an average £3900 a year saving.

“There has also never been a more important time to quit, as the Covid-19 pandemic continues. The evidence clearly shows COVID-19 virus attacks the respiratory system, smoking harms the immune system and smokers are therefore less protected and are at a greater risk.

“Officials have said smokers with coronavirus are 14 times more likely to develop severe symptoms, as the virus attacks the respiratory system, with both smoking and passive smoking weakening lungs – so why not turn this October to Stoptober and quit for good?”

The Western Trust’s team of specialist Smoking Cessation nurses are available to help support anyone wanting to take on the challenge through the Trust’s Smoking Cessation Programme, by offering support, advice and stop smoking medication if required.

Although face to face consultations and drop in clinics are currently suspended until further notice due to Covid-19 restrictions, telephone consultations and a range of other virtual options are available.