Wednesday 8 March is No Smoking Day and a calendar date for your diary if you smoke and are considering giving up.
Choosing to stop smoking is one of the most important decisions you can make because by quitting, you will look and feel better and lower the health risks of cardiovascular disease - you may even win brownie points with relatives and friends who want to see you kick the habit.
Solent NHS Trust is marking the day by encouraging smokers to quit and reminding them there is plenty of free help available in Southampton if you really want to stop.
Southampton Quitters offers a free range of advice, help and support for smokers living in Southampton.
Andrew Smith, Operations Manager advised anyone wanting to give up to get in touch with the service.
“Giving up can be really daunting, especially on your own, but sharing your experience with an expert can go a long way to overcoming your addiction. A helping hand from someone who knows and understands what you are going through can mean the difference between giving up and falling back into the habit which we all know can happen.”
Around 45 people a day die of cardiovascular disease (CVD) caused by smoking – that’s over 16,500 a year in England. CVD includes all diseases of the heart and circulation - including heart attacks and strokes and is one of the main causes of death and disability in the country.
Smoking rates in Southampton are higher than the national average with one in five people feeding the habit. Public Health and other organisations in the city who are also working with the Trust to reduce these figures are also backing No Smoking Day. Not only is smoking linked to heart disease and strokes, there is also a high risk of lung cancer associated with long term smoking.
John Richards, Chief Officer for NHS Southampton City Clinical Commissioning Group said; “We are fully supporting No Smoking Day along with our colleagues across the city in all the roles they play to support our population with quitting smoking. It would be great if higher numbers of smokers in our city took the decision to quit. We would expect to see a reduction in the number of lung cancer diagnoses we are sadly seeing at the moment.”
Dr Chris James, GP Lead for NHS Southampton City Clinical Commissioning Group added; “No Smoking Day is a great time to start the journey to giving up smoking and the help and advice available to our residents in Southampton is certainly worth looking at – and when you feel ready, give them a call to get on your way.
Should you notice you have a new cough for 3 weeks or more that can't be explained by an infection, or there is blood when you cough, then please make an appointment to see your GP. It may be nothing but it really is important that you don’t ignore the potential signs and symptoms of lung cancer.”
If you are living in Southampton and you want help to give up smoking you can a get help from Quitters by: