South Tynesiders are being challenged to stub out their cigarettes and take part in Stoptober ,
The mass quitting challenge from Public Health England starts on October 1 and already nearly 15 million people across the country have already quit.
The smoking rate across the North East has fallen from 29% of people smoking in 2005 to 22% smoking in 2012 and 18.7% smoking in 2015 – a drop of 3.3% over the past four years and around 189,000 fewer smokers in the last decade.
Alongside this, according to the latest data from Nielsen, the number of cigarettes sold in the North East also dropped by 13.01% in 2015.
Last year, out of the 2.5 million smokers who made a quit attempt, 500,000 people (20%) were successful - the highest recorded success rate and up from just 13.6% six years ago.
The council’s lead member for independence and wellbeing, Coun Tracey Dixon, said: “In South Tyneside lung cancer is our biggest killer and if more people stop smoking many more lives could be saved. Supporting Stoptober is one way of showing our commitment to tackling levels of smoking. Our local stop smoking services, including those delivered via children’s centres, will be active in the run up to and during Stoptober.
“Please remember you don’t have to go it alone and Stoptober is a great opportunity to take that first step to a healthier you.”
This increase in successful stop smoking attempts reflects the high number of people using quitting aids across England. In 2015, just over a million people (1,027,000) used an e-cigarette in a quit attempt while around 700,000 used a licensed nicotine replacement product such as patches or gum. In addition, over 2,139 people in South Tyneside used their local stop smoking service in 2015/16.
Ailsa Rutter, Director of Fresh, said: “Most smokers would like to be able to quit and every quit attempt is different. Even if you have tried before but failed, give it another go this Stoptober.”
For information on quitting, contact South Tyneside Change 4 Life on 424 7300.