By Jennifer Tierney
Stoptober is encouraging people throughout Leeds to begin the journey to stop smoking.
More than one in ten people in Leeds, according to the office for national statistics, are smokers.
Stoptober is a campaign used by health organisations throughout the UK, which aims to support and encourage people to quit smoking.
An organisation in Leeds, One You Leeds are promoting Stoptober by offering six free one-to-one sessions where they supply a mixture of behavioral change support, nicotine replacement therapy or prescription only medication where required.
Sally Ann O’Connor, the health and wellbeing manager for One You Leeds said they are expecting a minimum of one hundred people to attend their Stoptober sessions.
Dr Ian Cameron, Leeds City Council’s director of public health said: “The most successful quit attempts use a combination of effective stop smoking support methods.
“The best way to quit is with expert help from local stop smoking services together with stop smoking aids. In 2017-18, half (51%) of smokers who got this package of support managed to quit.”
46-year-old Holly Kay, who is a nurse in Leeds has attended One You Leeds’ quitting smoking advice sessions in the past.
As well as one-to-one sessions, group sessions are also being set up and started. Kay said: “There are also group classes instead of just one-to-one sessions now which I prefer because it’s nice to know that you’re not the only one struggling and other people are going through the same as you.”
A spokesperson for One You Leeds said: “You’re getting your advice, you’re getting your treatment for quitting which is obviously going to help you to progress to quit.”
The advice sessions are One You Leeds’ “busiest sessions” that they offer, as “everybody wants the free nicotine replacements,” said One You Leeds’ spokesperson.
— Rhinos Foundation (@RugbyLeeds) 28 September 2018
Leeds now has more smokers than the UK average, even though; “In Leeds almost six out of ten adults have never smoked,” said Dr Cameron.
Dr Cameron added: “This is encouraging for our ambition for a smoke-free generation, and with the help of Stoptober and people accessing the right stop smoking support for them, we can help more people quit too.”
Councillor Rebecca Charlwood, Leeds City Council executive member for health and adults wellbeing said:
“Thousands of people in Leeds are living healthier lives because of our efforts to reduce smoking rates. We are not only helping people quit, we are helping people never to start and backing tobacco control measures to crack down on illegal tobacco.”
Charlwood added: “If you search ‘Stoptober’ you can use the Personal Quit Plan and find out about the range of free and proven support available to help you start your quitting journey on the 1st October.”
In 2016, according to NHS digital, 20% of men and 19% of women aged 16-24 smoked, 31% of men and 19% of women aged 25-34 smoked, 23% of men and 16% women aged 35-44 smoked, 22% men and 20% women aged 45-54 smoked, 18% men and 13% women aged 55-64 smoked, 10% men and 11% women aged 65-74 smoked and 6% of men and 6% women aged 75 and over smoked.
— Leeds Council News (@LeedsCC_News) 28 September 2018