Better Care

Birmingham smokers urged to quit during 'Stoptober'

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Birmingham's Stop Smoking Service is preparing for a rush next month as hundreds of Brummies look to quit as part of the annual Stoptober campaign.

Last year Birmingham Community Healthcare's Stop Smoking Service helped almost 1,000 people permanently kick the habit during the 28-day Stoptober initiative.

And the team are looking to repeat that success this year.

In Birmingham around one in five adults smoke, equating to around 185,000 smokers.

Every year, over 4,500 people die in Birmingham from a smoking related disease.

Smoking is directly linked with Birmingham’s three biggest killers, and is directly attributable to:

  •     1 in 4 of all cancers,
  •     1 in 5 deaths from cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke),
  •     1 in 3 of all deaths from respiratory disease

But help is available and smokers who quit with the help of Birmingham Community Healthcare's Stop Smoking Service are four times more likely to stop than with will power alone.

The 2013 Stoptober campaign comes as new research shows the extra years of life that can be gained by giving up smoking and staying smoke-free.

Someone who quits smoking for Stoptober, and doesn’t smoke again, could gain an extra seven days of life, every 28 days, for the rest of their life.

A person stopping smoking for 28 days is five times more likely to stay smoke-free and Stoptober’s ambition is to help smokers achieve this goal.

Along with the health benefits, quitting saves the average smoker over £150 a month and almost £2,000 a year.  During last year’s Stoptober campaign, a staggering £25 million was saved by the 160,000 people from not buying cigarettes.

Carol Carter, clinical lead nurse for the Stop Smoking team, said:

“Around one in five adults in Birmingham smokes tobacco and many of them would like to quit but find it very difficult. That’s why we’re here. We provide a wide range of advice, support and treatment to suit every individual. It’s a friendly, confidential service dedicated to helping people quit and, most importantly, stay ‘quit’.

“After giving up for just one month, a person who used to smoke 20 cigarettes a day will have saved around £200 and started to notice real improvements to their health.

“Stoptober helped a lot of Birmingham people give up last year and we’re really hoping that the events and extra publicity this year will have a similar effect.”
Passive smoking campaign launch
Councillor Steve Bedser, Shadow Health Minister Andy Burnham and Stop Smoking Advisor Stephen Pugh launch a campaign warning of the dangers of passive smoking.

Birmingham City Council Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, Councillor Steve Bedser added:

"As a former smoker myself I know only too well the health and financial benefits of quitting but I also fully understand the vice-like grip this habit has on people.

"Giving up smoking is easier said than done and that’s why initiatives like Stoptober are so important.

Whenever you decide to quit, Birmingham's Stop Smoking Service can really help you with treatment, advice and support. You’re not alone."

Stoptober provides smokers with a range of free support including a new stop smoking pack, a 28-day mobile phone app and text support with daily updates and quitting advice, detailed tools and tips for coping.

The campaign can also provide the encouragement and support from thousands of people quitting together through Stoptober social media


To encourage people to sign up and order their packs, ultra-marathon runner and former 40-a-day smoker, Rory Coleman will be running 28 miles a day for 28 days in a row across England and Wales.

As part of Rory’s challenge, he will be pushing the giant red Stoptober wheel with the help of local armed forces representatives and members of the public and passing through the West Midlands on 26 and 27 September, including an appearance at the Stoptober drop-in session at Birmingham’s historic markets, next to St Martin in the Bullring.

For friendly, expert advice and support on how to quit smoking, call the Birmingham stop smoking service on 0800 052 5855 free or text 'QUIT' to 80800.

Stoptober 2013 starts on Tuesday 1st October and runs for 28 days. For more information and to join the biggest stop smoking challenge of its kind, search ‘Stoptober’ online.

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