Free service launches in Newham to help people quit smoking
- Credit: PA
A free service to help people quit smoking has been launched.
The new service is for smokers in Newham who are at most risk of developing serious health problems, including Covid-19.
Cllr Zulfiqar Ali, cabinet member for health and adult social care, said: "In Newham we are committed to tackling the health inequalities that exist within the borough.
"Working towards a smoke free Newham is a priority in our recently launched strategy ‘50 Steps to a healthier Newham’ and this service is key to achieving this."
According to the council, smoking is the biggest cause of death and illness in Newham. Almost 40,000 people in the borough smoke.
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This represents about 14 per cent of the adult population while the average for London is 13pc.
Smokers generally have a higher risk of contracting respiratory infection.
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If they develop Covid-19, then smokers are more likely to experience severe symptoms.
Stopping smoking can bring immediate benefits if you have an existing smoking related disease or underlying health problems.
The service offers a flexible eight week-long treatment program with an adviser. Language support is available if it's required.
It also offers free nicotine replacement therapy, prescription medication or electronic cigarettes.
The service combines telephone and online support, including video conferencing.
Face-to-face support will also be available in line with lockdown restrictions.
If smokers prefer to access a nearby pharmacy to quit smoking, that option is still available.
Dr Duncan Trathen, respiratory lead for Newham Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "Giving up smoking is the single most important change people can make for their long term health. I am pleased this is a high priority for health services in Newham."
The service is run by experts from Queen Mary, University of London.
Peter Hajek, professor of clinical psychology at the university, said: “Stopping smoking with expert help increases the chances of success three or four-fold.
"We’ve helped thousands of smokers successfully quit through our treatment programme, and we’re pleased to now offer this free specialist service.”
Call the helpline on either 020 7882 8230 or 0800 1691943 2 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Text or Whatsapp 07474 082 330 4. Or for more information visit Newham's website.