5% of Middlesbrough residents are smokers
By signing up to Stoptober quitters will get supportive messages from some of the nation’s top comedians – Bill Bailey, Al Murray, Shappi Khorsandi and Rhod Gilbert
Combining online support from comedians with a smoker’s ‘real world’ social groups designed to help increase their chances of getting through 28 days smokefree
Smokers in Middlesbrough are being urged to give quitting a go for the launch of Stoptober as new research finds people’s chances of stopping soar if they quit with a partner or friend.
Public Health England and Fresh are urging smokers from the area to sign up to Stoptober – the country’s 28 day mass quit attempt from Public Health England – to receive support and encouragement every step of the way from some of the nation’s top comedians.
And to stand an even better chance of quitting, Middlesbrough residents are encouraged to sign up with their friends, family and colleagues, as evidence reveals that this type of ‘social quitting’ can dramatically improve people’s chances of successfully stopping.
Research shows that smokers are two thirds (67%) more likely to quit when their spouse stops smoking, and a third more likely to quit when a close friend (36%) or someone they work with (34%) stops. The data also shows that individuals are much more likely (61%) to smoke if their partner or a close friend smokes – showing the powerful influence that people’s social networks have on their own smoking behaviour.
This is backed up by a study of smokers in Australia, Canada, the UK and the United States which shows that the fewer smoking friends someone has, the more likely they are to succeed in a quit attempt.
Lisa Surtees, Acting Director of Fresh, said: “Making a pact to quit with your partner or a friend is a great way to really boost your chances of kicking tobacco once and for all. That support can make all the difference and keep you going.”
Edward Kunonga, Director of Public Health for Middlesbrough Council, said: “Reducing smoking prevalence is a top priority for our area. We hope Stoptober will be an inspiration to our community to ‘Make Smoking History’ and contact our Stop Smoking Service to begin an attempt at quitting.”
Councillor Julia Rostron, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Adult Health and Social Care, said: “Quitting smoking is often difficult, however, in Middlesbrough we have a fantastic support system provided by our Stop Smoking Service, along with the community support from Stoptober we hope to help make that quit attempt a little easier.”
Helena Pinder, Head of Middlesbrough Football Club Foundation, who helped to launch this year’s Stoptober campaign in the region, said: “At MFC Foundation one of our key themes is promoting positive health messages to local people in Teesside. We have school programmes, delivered to young people which promote the negative side effects of smoking on the body as well as financially so we fully support ‘Stoptober’ as a great initiative which supports this message. It is important for us at the Foundation to support and help drive this message and we are wishing luck to everyone who is taking part!”
This year, Stoptober will be providing quitters with a personal touch from some of the nation’s leading comedians – Bill Bailey, Rhod Gilbert, Al Murray and Shappi Khorsandi. Messages of support and encouragement will be sent straight to quitters’ phones and emails throughout October.
Over a quarter of a million people across the country signed up to Stoptober last year with more than half making it to 28 days; this year, it is expected the campaign will welcome the millionth sign up. By stopping smoking for 28 days you are five times more likely to stop for good.
Professor Kevin Fenton, Director of Health and Wellbeing for Public Health England said:
“Stoptober will be providing people with more engaging and personalised support than ever. Along with receiving proven advice and support, participants this year will get encouragement every day from some of the best comedians in the country to help them reach 28 days smokefree.
“The benefits of stopping smoking are almost immediate: quitters will soon see reduced blood pressure, easier breathing and better circulation. It is one of the best things a person can do to improve their health and reduce their chances of developing long-term conditions and dying prematurely. Sign up today and get ready to start your quitting journey with our support on 1 October.”
Rhod Gilbert who is supporting this year’s campaign says:
“I smoked for about 25 years and probably spent 23 of those trying to quit, trying everything you can think of to kick the habit. I know first hand that it can be hard to find the motivation to quit, but Stoptober is the perfect time to give it a go. Not only will you be joining thousands of others taking part, you’ll also have exclusive support from myself, Bill Bailey, Shappi Khorsandi and the Pub Landlord, as well as access to lots of other help along the way. My advice to those taking on Stoptober would be to take the 28 days one day at a time.”
By signing up to Stoptober, participants can choose from a range of free support tools including daily emails and text messages from the comedians throughout the 28 day quit attempt as well as a mobile phone app which includes lots more tips and advice – all of which have shown to increase the chances of staying smokefree.
To sign up to the nation’s biggest mass quit attempt, search Stoptober online or visit www.smokefree.nhs.uk/stoptober
If you want to quit, you’re up to four times more likely to succeed with NHS support. Pop into your local pharmacy, ask at your GP, or call Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland Stop Smoking Service on 01642 383 819.