Luton smokers urged to take advantage of Stoptober

Numbers of smokers has risen during the pandemic
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Total Wellbeing Luton is calling on all smokers in the town to join the 2.3 million people who, over the past ten years, have taken that first step and made an attempt to quit smoking during Stoptober.

Smokers living in Luton can get free support by texting STOPTOBER to 60066 or by calling 0300 555 4152 and signing up to the Stop Smoking programme. They can also call in to partner company Cloudies Vape Shop in High Town, Luton and sign up to the programme.

The free service ranges from prescription medications through to nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) in the form of patches, chewing gum and sprays together with e-cigarette starter packs and support through the partnership with Cloudies. Trained advisors from Total Wellbeing Luton will support and encourage smokers to find a strategy that suits them, encouraging them to quit and to work towards the 28-day goal.

Over six million adults in England still smoke, and it remains the leading cause of premature death with almost 75,0003 preventable deaths a year.

While evidence has shown that smoking is highly likely to both worsen the severity of COVID-19 and cause serious respiratory issues, a recently released nationwide survey of 2,000 current smokers, has found that nearly half (45%) have been smoking more since the first lockdown began. The key reasons reported are feeling bored in the lockdowns (43%) or the pandemic making them more anxious (42%).

Studies also show that there has been a large increase in smoking among the under-35s since the coronavirus pandemic, up from 18% in 2019 to 24% now.

That’s why Total Wellbeing Luton is encouraging smokers to join the thousands of others who are giving quitting a go for Stoptober. Quitting remains one of the best things a smoker can do for their health, getting to experience the benefits of giving up smoking, including being able to start moving better, being able to breathe more easily and saving money.

Dr. Carolyn Kus, Interim Corporate Director for Population Wellbeing, Luton Council said: “It’s never been a better time to quit. The pandemic has been a challenging time for all of us and affected both our physical and mental health. COVID-19 is a respiratory illness and we know people who smoke generally have an increased risk of contracting respiratory infection and of more severe symptoms once infected. Second hand smoke is harmful for your family and friends; children are especially at risk as they have less well-developed airways, lungs and immune systems.

“Stopping smoking not only improves your physical health but also is proven to boost your mental health and wellbeing. It’s easier to quit with support and guidance and we have several events taking place across town so do take advantage of it. Total Wellbeing Stop Smoking Service advisors are on hand to offer you support either one to one or in a group, along with stop smoking medicines. It's never too late to quit, so join the thousands of people stopping smoking this October.”

Given the right expert advice and support, smokers are up to three times more likely to stop smoking than going it alone and if a smoker can quit for 28 days, they are five times more likely to quit for good.

If Luton smokers can quit for 28 days this Stoptober, they could also win a three months gym, swim and group fitness membership with Active Luton.

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