Surge in smokers trying to quit

Thursday, October 1, 2020

This Stoptober, smokers in Sefton are being encouraged to put their lungs first, strengthen their immune system and breathe easier ahead of flu season by joining more than two million smokers who have made a quit attempt since 2012 with the annual campaign. 

Smoking damages the lungs and airways, and harms the immune system, making people more vulnerable to infections, such as flu. Smokers generally have an increased risk of contracting respiratory infections and experiencing more severe symptoms. Stopping smoking brings immediate benefits to health, including for people with an existing smoking-related disease.

Smoking prevalence among adults in England is at a record low of 13.9%. Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) has calculated that more than a million people in the UK stopped smoking during the coronavirus lockdown.

Jo Churchill, public health minister, said: “It has never been more important to take care of ourselves, and quitting smoking is a great way to start.

“With smoking rates already at an all-time low and 2020 seeing more people stopping than ever, I urge all smokers to join in Stoptober to improve their health and help England become a smoke-free society by 2030.”

Colette Kearney, Smokefree Sefton service manager, added: “Quitting now will not only benefit people’s individual health and help improve their lung health ahead of flu season, but it will also help to reduce the demands on the healthcare system in these difficult times.

“It’s encouraging that so many people in Sefton have been quitting for COVID. Research has shown that people who can quit smoking with support are four times more likely to quit for good and due to COVID restrictions we are currently offering one-to-one telephone or digital support at a time that suits you.”

For free help and support, call the Smokefree Sefton team on 0300 100 1000 or free text ABL to 6227.