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30 September 2016

Stoptober returns to Cumbria to challenge smokers

stoptober logo

  • Cumbria County Council welcomes Stoptober 2016.

  • Smokers five times more likely to quit if they can go 28 days without cigarettes.

  • Local stop smoking advisers and pharmacies on hand to support quitters.

  • Smokers who can’t or don’t want to quit should make the switch to vaping.

Cumbria County Council welcomes Stoptober - the 28-day mass quitting challenge - which is back for its fifth year after a successful 2015 which saw over 1,500 people sign up to quit smoking in Cumbria.

Stoptober has made a big impact on local communities already, helping to lower smoking rates to 15.6% in Cumbria, down from 20% in 2012. The county council has welcomed the return of the campaign and is encouraging smokers in Cumbria to join the thousands of people making a change this October for a healthier and wealthier future.

The campaign has returned with even more free motivational support including support via the Stoptober smartphone app, a daily email service and Facebook Messenger bot which can provide instant support for when cravings strike.

Local services and pharmacies are also available to provide free, expert support and guidance. People who quit with the support of a stop smoking service adviser are four times more likely to successfully stop for good. Members of the public can contact local stop smoking services by calling 03000 13 3000, going online at www.nhs.uk/smokefree or by dropping into a local pharmacy for a chat.

Colin Cox, Cumbria County Council’s Director of Public Health said: 

“There is now strong evidence that vaping and e-cigarettes are considerably less harmful than smoking tobacco and that there is a strong case to be made for encouraging smokers who can’t or don’t want to quit to make the switch to vaping instead.


“The key messages I want to promote are if you don’t smoke, don’t start vaping; if you do smoke, stop altogether if you can - and our pharmacies can help; and if you can’t stop, or don’t want to - switch to vaping.


"Cumbria’s smoking rate is dropping and latest figures show that less than 16% of the adult population continue to smoke. However this still represents about 60,000 adult smokers across the county, so there’s a lot more to be done to help get the numbers down further."


Cllr Ian Stewart, the county council’s Cabinet member for Public Health, said:


“We hope as many smokers as possible will take this crucial step towards boosting their health, by signing up for the Stoptober campaign.

“Whilst the fact that smoking prevalence in Cumbria is falling and this is great news, this still means that there are 60,000 - 65,000 adult smokers whose health will be made worse by continuing to smoke.”

"Smoking is one of the biggest causes of premature death in Cumbria each year, and I’d urge smokers across the county to sign up and achieve something special for you and your loved ones.”

Cumbria County Council welcomes Stoptober - the 28-day mass quitting challenge