Sunderland smokers urged to team up to quite the habit

From left, back, Gillian Gibson, director of public health for Sunderland, Coun John Kelly, Andy Lloyd from Fresh, Jan Milner from Sunderland Stop Smoking Service and boxers, from left, Owen Forbes, nine, Millie Bainbridge, 13, Luke Renerson, 13, and Bobbi Bowman, 12, from Houghton District Fitness &Youth  Boxing Club.
From left, back, Gillian Gibson, director of public health for Sunderland, Coun John Kelly, Andy Lloyd from Fresh, Jan Milner from Sunderland Stop Smoking Service and boxers, from left, Owen Forbes, nine, Millie Bainbridge, 13, Luke Renerson, 13, and Bobbi Bowman, 12, from Houghton District Fitness &Youth Boxing Club.
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Smokers have been told teaming up could be the key to kicking their tab habit.

People across Sunderland 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.

By quitting, there are health benefits for you as an individual, for your family and friends.

Councillor John Kelly

Public Health England and Fresh are urging smokers to sign up to Stoptober – the country’s 28-day mass quit attempt – to receive support and encouragement every step of the way.

To stand a better chance of quitting, residents are encouraged to sign up with friends, family and colleagues, as evidence reveals that this type of “social quitting” can dramatically improve people’s chances of stopping.

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.”

Councillor John Kelly, Sunderland City Council’s cabinet member for public health, wellness and culture, said: “Research suggests you are four times more likely to quit with help from the Stop Smoking Service, or through a programme such as Stoptober than going it alone.

“By quitting, there are health benefits for you as an individual, for your family and friends.

“You will feel healthier, be healthier and be better off financially.”

Professor Kevin Fenton, director of health and wellbeing for Public Health England, said: “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.”

To sign up, search Stoptober online or visit www.smokefree.nhs.uk/stoptober. People who want to quit are more likely to succeed with NHS support, with help available via pharmacies, GP, or call Sunderland’s Stop Smoking Service on 0800 107 0741.