Merton smokers are encouraged to stop smoking for Stoptober

  • Local residents join thousands of smokers in the UK giving up cigarettes for a month this October
  • One You Merton, our local stop smoking service, has helped 518 people in the area over the last year, and is already receiving new requests for help

Stoptober is nearly here, and smokers in Merton are expected to join thousands of others attempting to quit smoking for a month this October. More than 2.5 million people in England have signed up since the campaign launched a decade ago. 

Giving up cigarettes brings immediate benefits. It will allow you to start moving better, breathe more easily – and give you more money to spend. On average smokers spend £38.59 a week on tobacco. That means they could have around £2,000 more to spend a year by quitting.   

Councillor Peter McCabe, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said: “It’s never too late to quit – stopping smoking brings immediate benefits to health, including for people with an existing lung disease. Why not give it a go for Stoptober: remove cigarettes out of sight and make a commitment to yourself and your loved ones not to smoke for one month. 

“I would encourage everyone trying to quit to download the NHS Quit Smoking app, and to visit the One You Merton, our local service, which has supported 518 local residents over the last year to successfully stop smoking and is ready to support you.”

Iyabode Animashaun, Merton resident, said: “I am seventy four, and I’ve been thinking about stopping smoking for a long time. One morning I decided to give it a try. If you want to give up cigarettes, you need to be firm with yourself. I would also suggest looking for an organisation to help you and finding someone you have confidence in. 

“When I felt weaker, I called my support lady for encouragement. I was a smoker for forty years, and I always thought I couldn’t do it until she told me that I can. I feel better now that I don’t smoke. I wish I’d done it earlier.”

Nearly 6 million adults in England still smoke, and it remains the single biggest behavioural cause of preventable death, with 64,000 deaths a year. It is never too late, and if you can make it to 28 days smoke-free, you are 5 times more likely to quite for good.

There is a range of free quitting tools available for you, including: the NHS Quit Smoking app, Stoptober Facebook support groups, daily emails and SMS, a dedicated phone line and an online Personal Quit Plan tool with information and advice on proven quitting methods. Just search ‘Stoptober’ for more information. One You Merton has also got drop-in sessions available in Merton Civic Centre from 11am–1pm on 11 October.

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