Smokers are urged to join the Stoptober campaign to help them quit – and to encourage families and friends to do so too.
Peterborough City Council is supporting the 28 day challenge, led by Public Health England, aimed at getting the nation’s eight million smokers to stop smoking.
And 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 from the comedians will be sent straight to quitters’ phones and emails throughout October.
Over three quarters of a million people have already taken part in the nation’s biggest quit attempt since it began in 2012, and research shows that stopping smoking for 28 days means you are five times more likely to stop for good.
The facts are stark. One in every two long-term smokers will die prematurely from a smoking related disease unless they quit.
Dr Liz Robin, director of public health at the council, said: “Around 29,000 of Peterborough’s residents smoke and we also have a higher than average number of smoking related deaths and hospital admissions.
“Kicking this habit 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.”
To help you to quit, one-to-one support and advice on a range of medication options can be obtained from the council’s Stop Smoking Service.
Call the freephone number 0800 376 56 55 to get an appointment with a specialist smokefree advisor who are available at a range of locations including GP practices, pharmacies or at the Healthy Living Centre in Princes Street.
As part of the Peterborough campaign look out for the council’s Stoptober caravan which will be based at the following locations:
• Thursday 1 October - 10am to 5pm, Millfield Medical Centre, between Alma Road and St Martins Street
• Friday 2 October - 10am to 5pm, Town Hall, Bridge Street
• Saturday 3 October - 10am to 5pm, Town Hall, Bridge Street
• Sunday 4 October - 10.30am to 4.30pm, Brotherhood Retail Park
The council Smokefree service will also have a Stoptober event at the Jobcentre Plus, Westgate, on Thursday, October 1 from 11am to 1pm and at Boots Pharmacy, in Queensgate shopping centre, on Friday, October 2.
Councillor Diane Lamb, the council cabinet member for public health, said: “We want to encourage every smoker in Peterborough to consider making a quit attempt this October and join the thousands of people who are feeling the benefits from stopping smoking last year.
“Smokers find it a lot easier to quit if others are doing so at the same time. Please sign up, join the challenge and get the best support available.”
The start of Stoptober this year coincides with the introduction of new legislation in England and Wales making it illegal to smoke in vehicles with someone under the age of 18 present.
Both the driver and the smoker can be fined if anyone smokes in the vehicle, and it will protect children from the dangers of secondhand smoke.
Find further information at www.peterborough.gov.uk/stoptober.