25 September 2020
Stoptober encourages people to quit smoking for the first 28 days of October and is back for the ninth year running. Evidence shows that not smoking a single puff for 28 days significantly increases the chances of giving up for good.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, healthcare workers are especially keen to encourage people to give up as it may help to reduce the associated risks of coronavirus.
Smokers may be at increased risk from coronavirus for the following reasons:
• Smoking causes damage to the lungs and airways
• Smoking harms the immune system, reducing the ability to fight against infection
• Smoking involves repetitive hand-to-face movements, which increases the risk of viruses entering the body
Lead Stop Smoking Nurse Specialist from Health and Community Services’ Help2Quit, Dr Rhona Reardon said: “We really encourage people to come forward this year for support to further protect themselves from the COVID-19 pandemic. As well as improving physical health there is significant evidence that stopping smoking improves mental wellbeing. The coronavirus pandemic has impacted mental health and for some people this may have increased how much they smoke.
“It’s understandable that people have reported high levels of stress and worry as these are normal responses to perceived and real threats. However, it is a common misunderstanding that smoking relieves stress, but it in fact increases it.
“As part of our service, we help smokers plan ways of emotionally coping without turning to smoking. Many patients report an improved mood and feeling more confident with themselves.”
Stop smoking support is available to all Islanders and 22 pharmacies offer help and support to quit.
Find out more about Help2Quit or call 0800 7351155.
Further information about Stoptober NHS.