16/09/2015 - Permalink

New legislation gives smokers an opportunity to quit with Stoptober

Related topics: Community / Health / Partner organisations

As part of this year’s Stoptober campaign, Shropshire’s Help2Change team are encouraging and supporting smokers in Shropshire to quit smoking.

The 28-day challenge which supports the nation’s eight million smokers to stop smoking kicks off on Thursday 1 October 2015, and coincides with a new change in the law to protect children from the dangers of secondhand smoke. The new legislation will make it illegal to smoke in vehicles with someone under 18 present.

So with one less place to smoke there is one more reason to sign up to Stoptober; and if you stop for 28 days, you’re five times more likely to stop for good.

Karen Calder, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for health, and Chair of Shropshire’s Health and Well-being Board, said:

“As a previous smoker myself, I know how difficult that first step can be to becoming smokefree. Stoptober is a great way to help smokers on their journey to stop smoking. With the new law coming into effect in October, this time could be a great opportunity for those who are wanting to kick the habit, to seek advice and help with their local stop smoking service. If you’re not ready yet, then please consider the health of your child and avoid smoking in the car when they’re present.”

This year Stoptober will be providing quitters with a personal touch from some of the nation’s leading comedians – Bill Bailey, Rhod Gilbert, Al Murray and Shappi Khorsandi. Messages of support and encouragement will be sent straight to quitters’ phones and emails throughout October.

By signing up to Stoptober, smokers will receive a variety of free and proven support, including packs and daily emails and text messages from the comedians throughout the 28-day quit attempt. Smokers can also receive a mobile phone app which includes lots more tips and advice.

To stand an even better chance of quitting, smokers are encouraged to sign up with their friends, family and colleagues, as evidence reveals that this type of ‘social quitting’ can dramatically improve people’s chances of successfully stopping*.

Help2Change’s stop smoking service Help2Quit, can also offer face-to-face advice and support and provide you with tailored advice and hints and tips on how to quit. The local stop smoking service offers free support delivered by stop smoking specialists – including practice nurses, midwives, pharmacists and school nurses – that really works. Help2Quit has been helping people to quit for the last 17 years and has seen around 85,000 clients in that time.

The service is available in almost all GP surgeries in Shropshire and is also provided in many pharmacies, community venues, hospitals and selected supermarkets.

For more information and to sign up to Stoptober’s 28-day challenge visit https://www.stoptober.smokefree.nhs.uk/.

For more information about quitting smoking in Shropshire call Help2Quit on 0345 678 9025 (Monday-Saturday 8am-8pm) or visit www.healthyshropshire.co.uk. 

Further information

Stoptober Campaign

Over 750,000 people have already taken part in the nation’s biggest quit attempt since it began, and research shows that stopping smoking for 28 days means you’re five times more likely to stop for good.

New Smoking in Vehicles Legislation

The new legislation will come into force on 1 October 2015 and people failing to comply face a £50 fixed penalty notice. To note:

  • Both the driver and the smoker can be fined if anyone smokes in the car or other vehicle, even if the window or sunroof is open or partly opened.
  • The law applies to every driver – including those aged 17 and those with a provisional driving licence – the driver could be fined £50 if someone is smoking.
  • The law does not apply if the driver is 17 years old and is on their own in the car.

The regulations are designed to protect children from the dangers of secondhand smoke and have been introduced as part of a package of measures under the Children and Families Act 2014.

Sign up to Stoptober with friends, family and colleagues

*Research shows that smokers are two-thirds (67%) more likely to quit when their spouse stops smoking, and a third more likely to quit when a close friend (36%) or someone they work with (34%) stops. The data also shows that individuals are much more likely (61%) to smoke if their partner or a close friend smokes, showing the powerful influence that people’s social networks have on their own smoking behaviour.

This is backed up by a study of smokers in Australia, Canada, the UK and the United States which shows that the fewer smoking friends someone has, the more likely they are to succeed in a quit attempt.

Dangers of secondhand smoke

Secondhand smoke is dangerous for anyone exposed to it, but children are especially vulnerable, as they breathe more rapidly and have less developed airways, lungs and immune systems.

Every time a child breathes in secondhand smoke, they breathe in thousands of chemicals, which put them at risk of serious conditions including meningitis, cancer, and respiratory infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Over 80% of cigarette smoke is invisible, and opening a car window does not remove its harmful effect. Secondhand smoke includes the smoke exhaled, plus the smoke created by the lit end of a cigarette.