Start saving, breathing better and moving more this ‘Stoptober’

People from Oxfordshire who light up are being encouraged to give Stoptober a go and start breathing better, moving more and saving money.

In the past ten years, Oxfordshire County Council’s free local stop smoking service has helped over 26,000 people make the change. The service gives people top tips on how to manage cravings and tricks to stay smokefree.

Around one in ten adults in Oxfordshire smoke. It is estimated that giving up a ten-a-day habit could save on average £36 a week, or £1,800 a year.

Councillor Mark Lygo, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health, said: “Stoptober is a great time to start something new and make a go of giving up cigarettes for good. It’s never too late to try. In just a few days you could really start to see a difference from feeling fitter, to saving those pennies. Within just a year your risk of heart attacks halves and in five to 10 years the risks of strokes and cancers plummet.

“Some people who successfully quit have been able to do it alone, which is great, but for many others having additional support can make all the difference. That is where our Stop for Life service can help. There is a wealth of support and advice available for anybody who might be thinking about quitting. Give it a go!”

Rebecca aged 38 from Banbury approached Stop for Life Oxon after many attempts to quit smoking had failed in the past. With one-to-one support from coach Sara, Rebecca now feels so much better, fitter, and richer.

Rebecca said: “Without the support I received from Sara I would never have got to the stage I’m at. I feel so much better in myself and I am relieved to no longer be a smoker. If I was to give advice to anyone looking to quit the habit, I would say to just do it.

“The support is brilliant especially when you lack the self-belief that you can do it. I have a new future ahead of me as a non-smoker and I can’t thank Stop for Life enough for helping me get back to my best.”

For those ready to quit, there are known techniques which will increase the chances of stopping for good. Residents can find out more by contacting the local stop smoking service Stop for Life Oxon by texting STOPOXFORD to 60777. More information about how to quit smoking is also available on the NHS website.

Oxfordshire County Council is also continuing it’s partnership with The Oxfordshire FA and and grassroots football clubs to raise awareness of the impact of smoking through the Oxfordshire ‘Smokefree Sidelines’ initiative.

More than 40 clubs have already joined the campaign, which seeks to encourage football clubs to go smoke free, stop smoking on the sidelines and change how young people view smoking. Find out about how to get involved in the campaign by going to The Oxfordshire FA’s website.

Oxfordshire’s tobacco control alliance has set out ambitious plans to see the county become smokefree by 2025. Find out more about Oxfordshire’s tobacco control strategy, and how to make a difference by visiting Oxfordshire County Council’s website.

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