Smokers urged to give Stoptober a go and improve their mental wellbeing

People from Oxfordshire who smoke are being encouraged to consider taking part in Stoptober this year and see the benefits that quitting could bring to their mental well-being.

Statistics show that there is a higher prevalence of smokers among people with mental health difficulties. That is why Oxfordshire County Council and partners are joining forces to support residents who smoke to stop this October.

Councillor Mark Lygo, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Equalities said: “This year, we want to dispel some of the myths around mental wellbeing and smoking and help people quit for good.

“Often people will take up smoking in the first place, or be discouraged to quit, based on the myth that smoking can help to relieve stress and relieve mental health difficulties. However, nicotine is a physically addictive substance, so often that relief is simply a result of giving your body more of it – a ‘fix’.

“Once somebody can beat that addiction, most will find that their mental wellbeing improves significantly knowing they are no longer dependent on cigarettes – not to mention the financial and physical health benefits that come along with it.

“We know it can be daunting for individuals with mental health struggles to give quitting a go but there is plenty of support out there to help overcome the barriers, regardless of your situation.”

Rose Hombo, Deputy Director of Quality at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Smoking is a cause of poor mental health across the whole population. Indirectly, through its impact on physical health, income, and employment, and directly, by increasing the risk of some mental health conditions (such as depression and schizophrenia) and through the creation of addiction, which inhibits people’s mental wellbeing. 

“In this month of Stoptober, we are putting up a series of meaningful and practical activities to help you as a smoker to start your journey to quit for good. There are lots of benefits to stop smoking and yours can start immediately. There will be a series of activities within all our NHS trust sites – all free to access.”

Nicotine replacement therapy and e-cigarettes are available to help individuals through Stop for Life Oxon, Oxfordshire County Council’s local stop smoking service.

Find out what support is available to quit for good by visiting Stop for Life Oxon’s website, freephone 0800 122 3790 or texting STOPOXON to 6077.

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