It’s time to consider giving up the cigarettes for good

Smoking cigarette butts
Smoking cigarette butts

It’s almost October and that means another push to encourage you to give up cigarettes.

The nation’s eight million smokers are encouraged to take part in Stoptober. We all have a stake in helping people to quit smoking. The chances are that each of us knows and cares about someone who smokes.

Most smokers actually want to give up but can’t manage it on their own; many have tried several times but have failed to give up permanently. I believe that the NHS needs to be ready to step in and help whenever somebody feels that they are ready to have a go at giving up.

You may have seen in the news recently about the new regulations that Parliament has approved which will make smoking in cars carrying children illegal from October 1 this year. I think that is a massive step forward to protect our youngest generation from taking up smoking.

Here are some facts about passive smoking:

l Smoke can stay in the air for up to two and a half hours even with a window open. This also applies in small enclosed places - like cars.

l Second-hand smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, some of which are known to cause cancer.

l Exposure to second-hand smoke has been strongly linked to chest infections, asthma, ear problems and cot death in children.

l Bans on smoking in cars when children are present already exist in some US states, including California, as well as in parts of Canada and Australia

There are countless reasons to undertake the 28 day programme: you will feel better, lower your chances of suffering a serious smoking related disease, stand a better chance of being around longer for your loved ones and have more money in your pocket.

For more information, visit www.smokefree.nhs.uk/Stoptober or contact Stockton and Hartlepool Stop Smoking Service on (01642) 383819.