With Stoptober well underway, people in Wolverhampton taking part in the annual quit challenge are being encouraged to keep up the good work.

Hundreds of people across the city are attempting to give up smoking during Public Health England's the mass quit attempt - and in doing so join the nearly 15 million people in the country who have already quit.

Smoking rates in England are the lowest ever, at 16.9%, but are higher in Wolverhampton at 19.3%.

Councillor Paul Sweet the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "Smoking is the biggest cause of preventable illness and premature deaths in the country, with 1 in every 2 long term smokers dying prematurely from a smoking related disease unless they quit.

"While stopping smoking is never easy, I am pleased that so many people in Wolverhampton are giving themselves a real chance to do so by signing up for Stoptober.

"Of course, the first days and weeks of a challenge like this are the hardest, and I'd like to encourage everyone to keep at it, take it one day at a time and seek help and support if they are wobbling a little."

Quitting can significantly improve people's health and well being, on both a short term and long term basis. For instance, 48 hours after stopping smoking, carbon monoxide will be eliminated from the body, after 72 hours, breathing becomes easier, and from 2 weeks onwards, circulation improves.

Five years after quitting, risk of heart attack falls by around 50% compared with someone who is still smoking, while after 10 years it is the same as if they had never smoked. Also 10 years after quitting, an individual's risk of lung cancer is about half that of a person who still smokes.

Help and support for people who want to stop smoking is available via the Stoptober app, while the Stoptober Type=links;Linkid=4559;Title=website;Target=_blank; has advice and information on stop smoking services and quitting aids.

Meanwhile, Wolverhampton Stop Smoking Service offers one to one support in GP practices, pharmacies and drop in clinics, as well as home visits and specialist support for pregnant women. For more details, please call 0800 073 4242 or 01902 444246.

  • released: Wednesday 5 October, 2016