Stoptober: Why Newham smokers should quit this month

Dr Duncan Trathen.

Dr Duncan Trathen. - Credit: Archant

There has never been a better time to quit smoking. Dr Duncan Trathen, CCG respiratory clinical lead at Newham Transitional Practice, explains why

Smokers are more likely to be vulnerable to coronavirus and could be at greater risk of developing severe disease from Covid-19.

Research from previous coronaviruses shows that smoking can make the impact of coronavirus much worse. Smokers are more likely to develop severe disease from the Covid-19 virus, than non-smokers.

Stoptober, which began on October 1, is a national 28-day challenge encouraging smokers to give up the habit. Research in the last five years has shown that if a smoker can quit for 28 days, they are five times more likely to give up smoking for good.

Within two to 12 weeks of stopping smoking, your blood circulation improves. This makes all physical activity, including walking and running, much easier. You’ll also give a boost to your immune system, making it easier to fight off colds and flu. The increase in oxygen in the body can also reduce tiredness and the likelihood of headaches.

More than 35,000 people in Newham smoke. If you are one of them, taking part will provide you with immediate health benefits and as well as more money in your pocket.

In addition to helping yourself, you will also protect those around you from the harmful effects of second-hand smoking, especially children who are particularly vulnerable.

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Breathing in second-hand smoke increases the risk of lung cancer, heart disease and stroke. In children, it doubles the risk of getting chest illnesses, including pneumonia, ear infections, wheezing and asthma.

In Newham a stop smoking service is offered in many pharmacies. As well as access to NHS approved medications, including nicotine replacement therapy like patches, gum and lozenges, they also offer personalised advice and support to quit smoking. The service has successfully supported thousands of people in Newham to stop.

To begin your journey towards a smoke-free life and to find your closest community pharmacy visit or call 0300 123 1044. You can also download the free NHS Stoptober app to help you quit smoking.

The app allows you to track your progress, see how much you’re saving and get daily support. If you can make it to 28 days smoke-free, you’re five times more likely to quit for good.