Smokers in Bristol are being encouraged to take this year’s Stoptober challenge and go smokefree during October.
Stoptober, the 28 day quit challenge run by Public Health England, will help many of the 63,000 smokers in Bristol to kick their habit by providing the support people need to quit.
Research shows that people are four times more likely to succeed with backing from a local stop smoking service, so dedicated free support groups will be starting in mid-September at locations across the city.
Public Health Bristol’s Smokefree advisers and the giant red Stoptober ball will also be making appearances across the South West throughout September in a bid to encourage people to quit. This weekend the team will be attending Knowle West Fest, 12 September, and Avonmouth’s Make Sunday Special event, 13 September.
This year Stoptober coincides with new legislation coming into force which will make it illegal to smoke in vehicles when children are present. A recent YouGov poll showed 85% of people in the South West support the new laws which will protect children from secondhand smoke and the associated health problems such as asthma, glue ear, headaches, coughs and nausea.
Councillor Daniella Radice, Assistant Mayor for Neighbourhoods with responsibility for Public Health, said: “Stoptober is a great initiative, which helps to motivate and support smokers who want to quit. We’re working to raise awareness about the impact of smoking and provide as much encouragement and help as possible for people to kick the habit. More and more people are trying to give up for health and financial reasons, which is fantastic.
“With new laws coming into force around smoking in cars there’s more reason than ever to quit. In Bristol we’re welcoming the legislation to protect children from secondhand smoke and supporting smokers to change their behaviour accordingly.”
There is a range of support available via Stoptober including special advice packs, mobile apps and motivational text messages. It is a great opportunity to join with friends and colleagues to all quit together.
Ann Nelson, a local Bristol resident, gave up smoking during Stoptober last year. She said, “I would thoroughly recommend the local support to stop smoking service. I know it would have been a lot harder if I was doing it on my own. This time, it really worked for me and it can for other smokers out there too.”
For more local advice and support contact Smokefree Bristol on 0117 922 2255 or text READY to 60060. More information and details of support groups in Bristol can be found at www.smokefreebristol.com .