Solent NHS TrustHigh quality community and mental health services

Help on hand to stop smoking

Published: 19/01/2016

Was your New Year’s resolution to stop smoking? Almost a month in and starting to struggle? Don’t worry with a little help from Southampton Quitters – your local NHS stop smoking service, you could extinguish your habit for good.

Run by Solent NHS Trust, Southampton Quitters is a free service that supports local smokers to kick the habit for good. They offer you support and guidance through the various stages of the quitting process.

Figures from Public Health England show that more than 5,524 people in Southampton are living a life blighted by chronic smoking-related lung diseases.

Lisa Ballard, a Specialist Smoking Cessation Advisor, at Solent NHS Trust said: “Stopping smoking is one of the best things you can do to improve your health and reduce your chances of developing health problems in the future, but for many people it can also be one of their biggest challenges.

“That is where we can help, we can provide you with all of the help, support and advice that you need. Our message is that you are not alone, there is help available every step of the way.

“Anyone who is thinking about quitting in the New Year should get in contact with us. We can offer you support from day one to develop a step-by-step plan for you to follow.

“As you are four times more likely to stop with NHS help, why not give us a try?”

There are 4,000 poisonous chemicals in tobacco smoke entering your lungs every time you take a drag on a cigarette.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), is an umbrella term for serious and progressive lung diseases, which can severely impact quality of life. Some 359 deaths between 2012 and 2014, in Southampton were attributable to COPD. At 70.2 deaths per 100,000 population, the Southampton figures are higher the national average of 51.7 deaths per 100,000.

People with COPD have difficulties breathing, primarily due to the narrowing of their airways and destruction of lung tissue. Typical symptoms include breathlessness when active, a persistent cough and frequent chest infections.

Lindsay Welch, Solent’s NHS Trust’s COPD Team Lead said: “There are several factors which cause COPD these can include air pollution and occupational exposure to dust, but smoking remains the primary cause of the disease, around 86 per cent of national COPD deaths are caused by smoking.

“It is estimated there are over three million people in the UK with COPD but only a quarter of those are diagnosed.

“Smokers can often dismiss the early signs of COPD as a ‘smoker’s cough’, but if they continue smoking and the condition worsens, it can have devastating consequences. If this condition left untreated it can potentially cause severe disability and eventually lead to death.”

Smoking is addictive and can harm nearly every organ of the body. It causes many diseases and reduces quality of life and life expectancy. The younger a person quits, the greater the benefit but stopping smoking is beneficial at any age.

You can a get help from Quitters by:

- emailing:

- visiting:

- twitter: @SolentNHSTrust

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