To mark No Smoking Day (Wednesday 9 March) Southampton Quitters, the local stop smoking service, will be in the City centre encouraging anyone thinking of stopping smoking to use the occasion as a good starting point.
Stop smoking advisors will be in the Marlands Shopping Centre all day tomorrow (Wednesday) before moving to ASDA on Thursday where they will be able to give tips and information on stopping smoking. There will also have age progression software that can show how smoking physically impacts on a person’s features.
Some lucky smokers may be able to walk away with free gym passes, courtesy of Fitness First Southampton (on condition they sign up for help to stop smoking with Southampton Quitters).
Senior Smoking Cessation Advisor, Alan Elgar, said: “We frequently meet smokers that have become ill through smoking and often they confess that they have bought ‘cheap’ tobacco. The first sign is the blood carbon-monoxide (CO) reading (this is what causes the thickening of the blood and increases risk of heart attacks and strokes). CO readings taken from these people smoking are much higher.”
No Smoking Day this year comes at a time when recent media, such as BBC’s Panorama ‘Smoking and the bandits’ programme revealed the dangers associated with illegal tobacco that is plaguing the country. The programme showed that illegal cigarettes are up to 30 times more dangerous and toxic than standard tobacco products.
There is no regulation of the other harmful chemicals or levels of these in illegal tobacco, but smoking is an addiction and people put this out of their mind and run the risks in order to satisfy their addiction.
“If somebody said: ‘use this product - there’s a 50 percent chance it will kill you, make you ill and worsen other illnesses and conditions, and cost you £5 per day per day, and be very addictive and hard to stop” would you do it? This is the risk people take when they smoke,” said Alan.
Councillor Ivan White Cabinet member for Health and Adult Social at Southampton City Council added: “I would really encourage anyone who has been thinking about quitting smoking to stop now. There is a lot of support from the NHS and the National No Smoking Day is the prefect time to stop smoking.”
For help with stopping smoking, please contact Southampton Quitter’s on telephone 023 8051 5221
Website www.southamptonquitters.nhs.uk or text ‘QUIT’ to 88020 (standard network rates apply). Lines will be open on No Smoking day: Wednesday 9 March from 8am to 8pm
If you want to try quitting; there is Quit for one day trial, or sign up for full support.
Predictions suggest that around 20% of people in the UK smoke: in Southampton this figure is higher at about 26%.
Some reasons to stop smoking (for anyone stopping smoking):
Solent Healthcare was created on 1 April 2010 through the integration of Southampton Community Healthcare and Portsmouth Community and Mental Health Services
It is hosted by Southampton City Primary Care Trust and provides community health services throughout Southampton, Portsmouth and parts of Hampshire
For more information please contact Elton Dzikiti, Assistant Communications Manager, Solent Healthcare on 023 8060 8936.