As we approach the half way point of ‘Stoptober’, Cumbernauld Community Health Information Hub is keen to offer a word of encouragement for those trying to quit smoking and inform that there’s plenty of help out there for those who wish to stop but are yet to take the first step.
‘Stoptober’ is a 28-day stop smoking campaign which takes place every October. This year’s campaign started on Tuesday 1 October 2019, and is based on research that shows if you can stop smoking for 28 days, you are five times more likely to stay smoke-free for good. Whilst the campaign originated and is predominately promoted in England, many Scots have joined the bandwagon which has seen over one million quit attempts since its launch in 2012.
There are lots of ways to quit and Stoptober can help people choose what works for them. Stoptober offers a range of free support to help people on their quitting journey including an app, daily emails, Facebook Messenger and lots of encouragement from the Stoptober online community on Facebook.
In addition, people can get expert face-to-face advice from Quit Your Way, a free NHS stop smoking service. A drop-in Cumbernauld surgery providing bespoke advice and support is available every Monday at 5.30pm (except school holidays) at the Health Room, Cumbernauld Central Health Centre, North Carbrain Road, Cumbernauld, G67 1BJ. Further information can be obtained by contacting NHS Lanarkshire on 01236 707714.
Specialist help is also available for pregnant women by contacting the Quit Your Way Pregnancy Team on 07811 84035, and those facing mental health challenges through contacting the Quit Your Way Mental Health Team on 01698 456219 / 07580 985255.
The significant health implications of smoking include increased risk of many forms of cancer, most notably lung cancer of which smoking is the cause in 70% of cases. Smoking damages your heart and your blood circulation and also increases your risk of developing conditions such as coronary heart disease, heart attack, stroke, dementia, peripheral vascular disease (damaged blood vessels) and cerebrovascular disease (damanged arteries that supply blood to your brain).
Smoking levels remains higher than desired in Lanarkshire, with instances of coronary heart disease and COPD a particular problem within the Cumbernauld area. Those who use stop smoking aids and who get face-to-face support from their local stop smoking service are up to four times more likely to quit successfully.