Get your health back and save money by ditching cigarettes for good this October

The Stoptober campaign to encourage people to quit smoking for good is being launched this week and Hackney Council is encouraging the borough’s 43,000 smokers to try and ditch the cigarettes for the whole month of October.

The Stoptober campaign is based on research that if you stop smoking for 28 days you are five times more likely to quit for good.

Local music artist Kerri Layton successfully quit smoking earlier this year after 13 years, following an operation on her vocal cords. She said: “As a professional voice artist I wanted to stop damaging myself. I didn't smoke full time, just with a drink, but I wanted to live my life to my healthiest capacity and feel what it would be like to be completely smoke free! I feel amazing now!”                                             

On quitting the habit she said: “It was hard as I've had to change my entire life. I got myself a dog so I wouldn't be tempted to stay out later at the weekend, and tempted to smoke when I'm drinking. It wasn't serving me and I knew it. Pamper yourself and remember it takes only 3 days for the nicotine to leave your system and only 3 weeks to break the mental habit. It's an addiction at the end of the day nothing else, so treat it like one and break the cycle. You won't look back once you've got rid of it!”

Smoking is still the single biggest leading cause of preventable disease and death in Hackney, killing more than 200 people a year. It is also the biggest cause of inequalities in health between the rich and the poor.

To tie-in with Stoptober, Homerton Grove will also become Hackney’s first voluntary smoke-free park.

Staff at Homerton Hospital will also no longer be able to smoke on the grounds or in uniform as the Hospital becomes fully smoke-free from January 2018.

Sheila Adam, Chief Nurse at Homerton University Hospital NHS Trust said: “Smokefree public buildings and services have now been the norm for 10 years following the introduction of the Smoke Free England Law. Many NHS organisations are already totally smoke free and have been so for several years and there is now a national drive to ban smoking completely on all NHS sites.

“Smoking remains the number one health risk to people in this country and is the cause of many diseases and conditions which cost the NHS millions of pounds a year to treat. We are pleased to be working closely with Hackney Council and other agencies in promoting this campaign.”

Smokers wanting to give up the habit are up to four times more likely to quit successfully if they access their local Stop Smoking Service. Last year over 1,500 people successfully quit smoking through the service provided in Hackney. One of them was 32-year-old Filipe Passos who quit last Stoptober, and is still going strong.

He said: “In my aim to live a healthier lifestyle and get fit I decided to give up smoking. The biggest benefit I’ve noticed is that just before I quit I couldn’t run for half an hour without running out of breath. My lungs couldn’t keep up with the training I wanted to do. Now I run for more than an hour and a half without any difficulty in breathing. I was a heavy smoker, smoking at least 20 a day for almost 16 years. Giving up smoking is a daily fight as sometimes I still want a cigarette, even after almost a year. However, the benefits definitely outweigh everything else.”

Existing smokers can search ‘Stoptober’ online and find a range of free and proven support which includes e-cigarettes, email and social media support, the ‘Stoptober’ mobile app and different stop smoking aids. Specialist stop smoking advisors will also be promoting Stoptober at locations across the borough including GP practices, community centres, Homerton hospital, children’s centres and pharmacies.

For advice and information search ‘Stoptober’ online or contact Hackney’s Stop Smoking Service on 0800 046 9946 or 020 3316 1085 or go to www.smokefreehackney.org. 

Cllr Jonathan McShane, Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Devolution
Every year more and more people in Hackney quit smoking because they know there are multiple benefits for their health, their quality of life and the environment around them, not to mention the money they can save to spend on other things. We’re also really pleased to make Homerton Grove the first smoke-free park in Hackney to ensure patients, visitors and residents living nearby can enjoy spending time in a smoke-free environment.
Cllr Jonathan McShane, Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Devolution