South Gloucestershire Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing Delivery and Public Health Cllr Erica Williams is taking part in Stoptober by quitting cigarettes.
Councillor Williams has responsibility for promoting positive health choices, so this October, Erica is putting her money where her mouth is and taking part in Stoptober attempting to give up smoking for good.
Cllr Williams said: “The main reason I wanted to be involved in Stoptober is that with my new portfolio for public health, I want to be seen to lead the way and hopefully motivate others to quit. I can then speak from a position of personal experience, showing that whilst hard, it is possible to give up for good. I’m getting sponsored to give up, raising money for the Lullaby Trust, and the money that I’ll save not buying cigarettes in the future can be spent on my family.
“I didn’t smoke at all during the pregnancies for my children and I did manage to quit for a year once before, but then slipped back into the habit. What’s different this time is that I really want to quit and I’ll have a great deal of help behind me.
“I’ve been referred to smoking cessation support via my GP. I’ll be using tablets and I’m also getting great support from the smoking cessation scheme via the council’s public health team. I’ll be attending regular clinics and have already scheduled catch-ups with the public health team so they can check in with how I’m getting on and keep me on the straight and narrow!”
Stopping smoking is the best thing a smoker can do for their health and Stoptober is there to help smokers on their quitting journey for 28 days. There are many different types of stop smoking support available, so it can be difficult for a smoker to know what will work best for them. Stoptober’s free online Personal Quit Plan helps smokers find the support that is right for them based on their level of tobacco dependency and what quitting support they have previously used.
The new, free online tool, accessed through the Stoptober website, will help smokers to find the right combination of support for them – with options including face-to-face support, nicotine replacement therapies (NRT) like patches, gum or inhalers, and e-cigarettes – offering a personalised quit journey.
South Gloucestershire statistics:
• Seeing a smokefree practitioner for support and medication makes you four times more likely to quit successfully
• South Gloucestershire currently has the lowest overall smoking prevalence in the South West at 10.5 per cent overall
• However, smoking varies greatly between groups – routine and manual workers are more than twice as likely to smoke (prevalence 23.3 per cent)
• Those with serious mental ill health are more than four times more likely to smoke (40.3 per cent)
• 60 per cent of smokers try to quit without any support or aids to help them even though this is the least effective way and they are much less likely to succeed
• Using a stop smoking medication will make you twice as likely quit successfully.
For more information and tips to help you quit visit www.southglos.gov.uk/smokefree