GPs in Tower Hamlets are encouraging people to stop smoking by highlighting the range of help available from the NHS to support those keen to quit.
Ahead of No Smoking Day on Wednesday (13 March), smokers are also being reminded that giving up will have major benefits for them – and for those around them.
Among the tools available to help people stop smoking are:
- A personal quit plan – this is a free and easy-to-use digital tool that helps smokers find alternatives such as e-cigarettes (vaping). It takes into account how much you smoke and any quitting support you have used before. It is available at https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/for-your-body/quit-smoking/personal-quit-plan/.
- The NHS Smokefree website – this also offers free proven support at every step of the process to help you give up smoking. One option is to download the free NHS Smokefree app. Log on for details at https://www.nhs.uk/smokefree/.
To help people appreciate the harm smoking does to their body, PHE has released a new film showing its devastating effects. It features experts carrying out an experiment to visually demonstrate the high levels of cancer-causing chemicals and tar inhaled by an average smoker over a month, compared to not smoking or using an e-cigarette.
The results of the experiment graphically illustrate the difference between the impact of smoking and vaping. While a survey shows that almost half (44 per cent) of smokers believe vaping is as harmful as smoking, this is not the case: research estimates that although it is not risk-free, vaping is actually at least 95 per cent less harmful than smoking.
Sir Sam Everington, a local GP and Chair of Tower Hamlets CCG, said:
“We all know smoking is bad for you, but it is easy to forget just how much damage it does.
“Smoking accounts for 80,000 deaths a year and is the biggest cause of preventable deaths in England. Quitting not only saves the average smoker around £1,700 a year, but also improves fertility levels and helps protects your children or those around you from suffering from bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma attacks and meningitis.
“Any day is a good day to stop smoking but No Smoking Day gives smokers another opportunity to try to quit. There are many local services and schemes across Tower Hamlets available all year round that offer advice and support for people who want to stop smoking – and you are four times more likely to do so with help from the NHS.”
People can also visit Quit Right Tower Hamlets at Whitechapel Idea Store, 321 Whitechapel Road, on Wednesday 13 March from 10am to 4pm. The Quit Right team will be on hand to give free friendly advice on becoming smoke free.