We are gearing up for this year’s Stoptober campaign by encouraging residents to give up smoking throughout October and use the opportunity as a springboard to quit for good.
Last year more than 880 people in South Gloucestershire took part, and this year we are hoping that even more residents will take the first steps towards quitting.
Throughout September, staff appeared at roadshow events across South Gloucestershire, directing people to the support that is available to help them kick the habit.
As well as signing up a number of people to get involved in the quit attempt, a quit smoking group has also been set up for council employees.
Joe Scrase, who works in our Human Resources department, joined the quit smoking group a month ago and has been attending weekly lunchtime meetings in Yate.
He had been smoking up to 20 cigarettes a day for the last 10 years, but he’s about to reach a major milestone having not had a single cigarette in the last month. For Joe there were a number of motivations to try to stop. He said: ‘I’m keen to get back into sport, so the health benefits were important and I’ve really noticed a difference in the monthly finances.
“Finally, whilst my partner and I had been very careful not to smoke in front of our children, recently my daughter told me she ‘wanted to smoke when she was older because she wanted to be like daddy’ – that hit home as it really isn’t something I would want my daughter to take up.”
Cllr Toby Savage, Chair of South Gloucestershire Council’s Health Scrutiny Committee, added: “I’d encourage anyone thinking about giving up smoking for good to come along to one of the group sessions running throughout Stoptober. They are free and open to anyone who wants a helping hand to stop smoking. You’ll be joining other people who want to stop smoking and with the help and support of our trained advisors you are much more likely to quit for good.
“The sessions are run by Smokefree South Gloucestershire and offer access to help and advice including a free personal quit plan tailored to your individual needs. There will be motivational tips on how to stay on track as well as advice on stop smoking treatments to help beat cravings.”
If you’re looking to take part in Stoptober, text your name and “READY” to 80011. You can also call us on 01454 865502 or email email@example.com to make an appointment at one of the free support sessions. The sessions take place in Patchway every Tuesday between 4pm and 7pm and in Kingswood every Thursday between 3pm and 7pm. Same day appointments are available.
Smokefree South Gloucestershire’s trained advisers are based at GP surgeries, pharmacies and at community venues across South Gloucestershire. They provide free advice, support and encouragement to help local residents stop smoking for good. For more information about Smokefree South Gloucestershire visit www.southglos.gov.uk/smokefree