Smokers in Wolverhampton are being challenged to stub it out as a national quit campaign returns this Stoptober.

Residents are being urged to sign up now to the mass quitting challenge from Public Health England which beings on 1 October - and give them the chance to join the nearly 15 million people who have already quit.

Smoking rates in England are the lowest ever, at 16.9%, and Stoptober is back for a fifth year to encourage the nation's remaining seven million smokers to quit together this October. Last year, 500,000 successfully quit by taking part.

Councillor Paul Sweet the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "Smoking rates in Wolverhampton are falling but they are still too high, particularly within more deprived communities.

"Smoking is the biggest cause of preventable illness and premature deaths in the country, with one in every 2 long term smokers dying prematurely from a smoking related disease unless they quit.

"While stopping smoking is never easy, Stoptober is the perfect time to give it a try. 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 two 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.

"Stoptober is a great opportunity for smokers to make a serious quit attempt, particularly with the support of friends, family and work colleagues."

Dr Gina Radford, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, said: "The best thing a smoker can do for their health is to stop smoking, and there is more help and support available now than ever before.

"We have a range of free support that can go direct to your phone, laptop or tablet via the Stoptober app, a daily email service or Facebook Messenger bot. The new Stoptober website also has advice and information on stop smoking services and quitting aids.

"Stoptober has helped lots of smokers quit for 28 days and beyond, so if you smoke, why not make this Stoptober the time you quit - for good."

For more information, people are urged to visit Type=links;Linkid=4559;Title=Stoptober;Target=_blank; and choose a package of support which will help them quit for good.

For help and advice to quit smoking, please contact Wolverhampton Stop Smoking Service, which offers a specialist pregnancy service, home visits and one to one support in GP practices, pharmacies and drop in clinics, on 0800 073 4242 or 01902 444246. Alternatively visit Type=links;Linkid=5080;Title=NHS Smokefree;Target=_blank; for a range of free support and quitting advice.

  • released: Thursday 22 September, 2016