Take the opportunity to quit smoking

From Cornwall Council:

Smokers in Cornwall are being urged to join thousands of others across the UK and stub out their habit for good.

It is estimated that nationally a million people quit smoking during the first lockdown with hundreds of thousands maintaining their success.

In the South West around 78,000 are thought to have given up during the summer lockdown, according to research by charity ASH (Action on Smoking and Health).

Cornwall Council’s stop smoking service remains open and ready to support local people to quit in January.

Besides the obvious health benefits, evidence suggests that those who successfully quit stand to save a whopping £2,000 a year.

They will also help alleviate pressure on health services and society in general. It is said that smoking costs Cornish communities and the NHS £117.3m a year.

Smoking facts and figures for Cornwall [Source: ASH]:

  • It is estimated there are around 63,010 adult smokers in Cornwall
  • The cost to society is £117.3m, including a £29.7m cost to the NHS
  • £10m is spent on smoking-related hospital admissions and £19.6m on treating smoking-related illnesses
  • Loss of productivity due to smoking costs the local economy in Cornwall around £74.3m a year
  • Of this, a whopping £27m is lost due to smoking breaks and £11.3 million due to absenteeism
  • Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service reportedly deals with 24 smoking-related house fires a year, at a cost of around £3.7m
  • Smokers in Cornwall puff their way through 529,170 cigarettes a day creating 76kg of litter
  • People in Cornwall spend a total of £84.7m on smoking every year, which is around £2,050 per person

Research also suggests smokers are 14 times more likely to develop serious breathing issues if they catch Covid-19 and are also more likely to spread the virus, due to sharing lighters on cigarette breaks and touching their faces while smoking.

Dr Ruth Goldstein, public health consultant and deputy director of public health at Cornwall Council, said: “There has never been a better time to ditch the cigarettes. It will save you hundreds if not thousands of pounds and even more importantly will make you feel a million times better.

“So why not make a New Year’s resolution to quit in 2021? We’re here to help you every step of the way, so what have you got to lose? Using Healthy Cornwall’s support, as well as using stop smoking medication, people are up to four times more likely to stop smoking successfully.”

As well as personalised behavioural support to develop a ‘quit plan’ and practical help on beating the cravings, the Healthy Cornwall team are able to arrange stop smoking medication such as nicotine replacement therapy through a GP prescription request or voucher.

If you want help to quit contact the stop smoking service on 01209 615600, via email at healthy.cornwall@cornwall.gov.uk or visit www.healthycornwall.org.uk/make-a-change/smokefree-cornwall

Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of ASH, said: “This has been a tough year, but local councils have shown they are more than up to the challenge, showing tremendous commitment to local people during the pandemic. If you are planning to quit in 2021 get help from your local service, it might make all the difference.”

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