Join the Stoptober challenge! | Hartlepool Borough Council

Residents of Hartlepool are being encouraged to stop smoking by taking on the annual Stoptober challenge.

Health officials say quitting the habit is one of the best things a person can do for their health….and it’s never too late.

In fact, the benefits are almost immediate, as the body responds within minutes.

Stoptober 2022 runs throughout October.

Sue Leather, Advanced Public Health Practitioner with Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “The reasons for stopping smoking are compelling, with research showing that if you quit for 28 days you are five times more likely to quit for good.

“Within 20 minutes of quitting your pulse starts to return to normal, in 3-9 months your lung function increases by up to 10% and after a year your heart attack risk halves.

And, of course, it’s not just your health that benefits, your finances receive a boost too!”

Whilst Stoptober is aimed at all smokers, it is specifically focussing this year on smokers aged 25-50 who work in routine and manual jobs.

Stop smoking support is available from Hartlepool Borough Council’s Community Navigators, who are based in the Community Hub Central in York Road and Community Hub South in Wynyard Road. They can be contacted by telephoning (01429) 272905 or emailing helping@hartlepool.gov.uk

Another source of stop smoking help is the NHS Quit Smoking app which can be downloaded for free from the App Store or Google Play.

Health officials have also issued a series of tips to help those trying to stop stay the course. They are advised to list their reasons for quitting, tell people they are quitting, remember what worked if they have tried to quit before, use aids such as vapes, have a plan if they are tempted to smoke, list their smoking triggers and how to avoid them, stay busy and exercise away the urge to smoke.

One local resident agreed to speak about her stop smoking journey, although she asked to remain anonymous.

She said: “I smoked even though I was asthmatic. I used to wheeze and cough and couldn’t walk far without getting out of breath. I caught Covid and developed bronchitis. I could hardly breathe and it scared me. My GP advised me to seek help to quit.

“The Community Navigator Team has been a real help. My Navigator has been very supportive, and he’s only a call away if I have any questions. It really helps to have regular meetings.

“I been smoke-free now for a number of weeks and my wheeze and cough has gone. I have more stamina to walk longer and I’m not using my inhaler as much. I’ve certainly got more money, and my hair and clothes smell better!”

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