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More than 99,500 smokers in the West Midlands quit during lockdown – will you join them this Stoptober? Posted on 30 Sep 2020

If you’re a smoker, you have an increased risk of complications from coronavirus (COVID-19) and other respiratory illnesses. Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) calculates that a million people in the UK stopped smoking during lockdown – including more than 99, 500 in the West Midlands[1].

The Stoptober campaign launching tomorrow (1 October), encourages smokers to cut the habit for 28 days, as evidence shows if you can make it to 28 days smokefree, you’re five times more likely to quit for good. The message from NHS organisations across Coventry and Warwickshire is that the NHS is still here for you, and there is lots of support to help you stop smoking.

Dr David Spraggett, Chair at NHS South Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: ““It’s fantastic news to hear that more than 99,500 smokers in the West Midlands region have quit the habit during lockdown. Smoking damages the lungs and airways and weakens the immune system, meaning that smokers are susceptible to various types of infections. With the winter flu season on its way and COVID-19 continuing to spread through our communities, now is the perfect time to quit.

“Giving up smoking is one of the best things you can do to improve your health. There are lots of free tools and resources available to help people in Coventry and Warwickshire to quit. It’s never too late to stop, and you’ll feel so much better for it.” 

For support, visit the Better Health (Stoptober) website or the NHS Smokefree website, or speak to your pharmacist or GP practice, which are open and ready to support the needs of their patients.

Dr Sarah Raistrick, Chair at NHS Coventry and Rugby CCG added: “Stopping smoking will improve your lung and cardiovascular health – it will most definitely help you breathe easier throughout the winter flu season.

“People who are exposed to secondhand smoke are also at increased risk of harm to their lungs and heart – and children are especially at risk. So, giving up smoking will benefit you and your loved ones; it will also ease pressure on the NHS during this challenging time.”

Useful resources:

Quit for Good Warwickshire is your local stop smoking service which provides free expert support to help you quit smoking. They offer a 12 week stop smoking course to help you quit for good. For further information visit the Quit4Good website or call 01926  731 484 to find your local stop smoking branch. Please note at this current time, all face to face clinics will now transfer to telephone support.

Healthy Lifestyles Coventry friendly coaches have helped thousands of people to stop smoking and can help you. You can get free one-to-one support from their coaches over 12-weeks. They are there for you right through your journey to becoming smoke-free. They understand what it’s like to stop smoking and they are there for you every step of the way to give you the help and support you need to succeed. Visit the website or call 0800 122 3780 for further information and support.

The NHS Smokefree website provides useful resources and inspirational success stories to help you quit smoking, and you can even create your own personalised quitting plan.

The Better Health website provides free information and support to quit smoking.

© NHS Warwickshire North Clinical Commissioning Group
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