Aiming to stub out smoking in Warwickshire - The Leamington Observer

Aiming to stub out smoking in Warwickshire

Leamington Editorial 1st Jun, 2024   0

STUBBING it out for good is the aim of Warwickshire County Council.

The authority is backing nationwide support to help people to stop smoking and increase the number of smokers engaging with stop smoking services.

All is to support data showing most smokers want to quit but aren’t able to due to an addiction to nicotine that started in their teenage years.

Over 80 per cent of smokers started before they turned 20, many as children, according to research.

WCC will receive the grant funding over the next five years and the level of financial support has been based on the number of smokers living in the county. There are over 66,000 people in Warwickshire who smoke, which is nearly 14 per cent of those aged 18 plus in the county. Smoking rates vary across Warwickshire, with the highest rates in Rugby and the north of the county.

Over the next 12 months, WCC will be encouraging more smokers in to quit as well as using the opportunity to increase the awareness of the dangers of smoking as well as vaping, with the clear message: if you don’t smoke, don’t vape.

Smokers can already access free stop smoking support across Warwickshire via the quit4good website.

WCC has also recently improved the stop smoking support offer with the introduction of the new government ‘Swap to Stop’ programme which offers smokers over the age of 18 access to support to quit with the help of vape ‘quit kits’. Almost two-thirds of people who use a vape, along with support from their local Stop Smoking Service, successfully quit smoking.

WCC health spokeswman Coun Margaret Bell said: “The council already has a great deal of support available for Warwickshire smokers who want to quit, so this additional funding from the smoke-free generation grant is a phenomenal boost that will make a huge impact in decreasing smoking rates across our county even further.

“We want to support people to live healthily and happily. We know that smoking has a huge impact on an individual’s health – quitting can reduce your risk of developing dementia, lung disease, heart disease, cancer and stroke. Stopping smoking also boosts your mental health and wellbeing.

“We also know it’s much easier to stop smoking when you get the right support, with the grant we can build on the options already available to smokers, raise more awareness of the support available, and ultimately help lots more Warwickshire residents go smokefree for good.”

Smokers can call 0333 005 0092 or text ‘QUIT’ to 60777 to access additional stop smoking support such as, talking directly to stop smoking advisors either over the phone or video call, support via text messages or as part of a virtual support group.

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