Latest data available shows that in 2015-17 there were over 5,000 deaths attributable to smoking each year in Hampshire. The new contract will start in October 2019, providing Hampshire’s smokers with free access to stop smoking support.
Councillor Stallard said, “Smoking is still the biggest cause of preventable deaths in England and it is estimated that 13 per cent of the Hampshire population continues to smoke. As soon as you stop smoking, you feel the health benefits so we are committed to providing free and accessible support for residents, especially those in our communities most at risk from smoking related harm.”
In addition, data reveals that the cost to health, social care and local communities of smoking in Hampshire is nearly £300 million a year.
Councillor Stallard added: “There are many reasons for supporting people in their efforts to quit, not least of which is that within two to twelve weeks, blood circulation improves, making physical activity such as walking and running much easier. After one year of not smoking, your risk of having a heart attack is reduced by half and after two years, your risk of stroke is reduced to half that of a smoker.”
The new support service will take account of changes in the way smokers attempt to quit. More smokers are turning to e-cigarettes and trying to stop without using a specialist service. Evidence shows, however, that smokers are up to four times more likely to succeed in quitting with specialist support, even if they use e-cigarettes and online apps.
If you want help to quit smoking, go to www.quit4life.nhs.uk