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Health Matters: Stoptober

Health Matters: Stoptober
07 October 2019



 Dr Andrew Wilson, clinical chair of NHS Eastern Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group


Our annual ‘Stoptober’ campaign is back again for another year, encouraging people to give up smoking. Research shows that if you can stop for 28 days you’re five times more likely to stop for good.

Smoking is one of the biggest causes of death and illness in the UK – killing around 78,000 people every year and leaving many more with life-altering illnesses. Serious illnesses such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart disease and at least 14 different cancers have all been linked to smoking. Quitting will make a huge difference to your overall health and you will notice improvements almost instantly.

GPs do understand that giving up smoking is extremely difficult – that’s why the NHS provides several different types of support services. These include the Smokefree app and one-to-one or group stop smoking sessions.

There are several options available to help you quit smoking. E-cigarettes, receiving daily support with the new Stoptober app, as well as using a number of nicotine replacement therapies, such as patches and chewing gum are all great ways to help you quit.

There are so many benefits to giving up smoking and positive effects are immediate with breathing becoming easier within 72 hours, increased endurance and lung function within two to three weeks and within a year, the risk of heart disease drops to half of that of a smoker. Within five years of quitting, your risk of stroke will drop to the same risk level as a non-smoker, and your risk of other cancers will greatly decrease as well.

Like any change, taking small steps every day in the right direction adds up to a big change over time. There are lots of ways to help so please do check out the many resources including local support groups. You can find out more by contacting your GP surgery and by visiting the Stoptober website - or