243 Nottinghamshire residents have pledged to give up smoking, with the support of the NHS Stop Smoking Service New Leaf during October as part of the first ever national mass quit attempt called Stoptober.
The campaign has been supported locally by NHS Nottinghamshire County and Nottinghamshire County Council.
New Leaf is the specialist stop smoking service commissioned by NHS Nottinghamshire County to provide advice and support to people who want to kick the smoking habit.
The service also received 110 phone calls from smokers requesting more information about giving up smoking during October, which is a substantial increase on their usual number of enquiries.
Various events have taken place across the county to raise awareness of Stoptober and promotional materials have been sent out to all GP surgeries, pharmacies and opticians.
Most schools in the county have distributed promotional bags for their pupils to give to their parents.
People who signed up to the scheme were given the extra incentive of being entered into a prize draw with top prizes including a Nintendo DS and Center Parc Spa Day passes. They also received support and encouragement through a daily messaging service, inspiration from celebrity mentors, and expert advice via a Smartphone app, mobile text and Facebook messages.
21 percent of people in Nottinghamshire currently smoke. Evidence shows that if a smoker gives up the habit for 28 days they are five times more likely to stay smoke free, and Stoptober leads smokers through a detailed step-by-step programme to help them achieve this goal.
John Tomlinson, Deputy Director of Public Health at NHS Nottinghamshire, said: “This campaign has not been about lecturing people not to smoke. Its main aim has been to reach out to people who want to give up but need advice and support to make this happen.
“243 people have signed up locally through New Leaf which has also received a significant increase in enquiries over the month so we believe the campaign has been effective in supporting more people to kick the habit.”
Smokers who want to quit can access support through their GP or local pharmacy, by phoning New Leaf on 0800 389 7712 / texting ‘leaf’ free to 80800 or residents in Bassetlaw, can contact the stop smoking service on 0800 328 8553.
For more advice, interesting facts and useful links for support: www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/stoptober