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Vale of York CCG challenges local residents to go smoke-free this Stoptober!

NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is encouraging smokers to kick the habit as part of Public Health England’s Stoptober challenge.

Stoptober aims to support local people to give up smoking for at least 28 days. Last year, nearly a quarter of a million people took the Stoptober quit smoking challenge in England and Wales, and PHE estimates that everyone who completed Stoptober is now five times more likely to stay smoke-free for life.

About 100,000 people in the UK die each year due to smoking. Smoking-related deaths are mainly due to cancers, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and heart disease.

Dr Emma Broughton, one of a team of GPs at NHS Vale of York CCG, said: “NHS Vale of York CCG’s overall vision is to achieve the best health and wellbeing for everyone in our community.

“Stopping smoking is one of the best steps people across the Vale of York can take to improve their health and reduce the risk of developing a number of smoking-related illnesses.”

There are a number of short and long term health benefits of quitting smoking:

• In just 20 minutes an ex-smokers blood pressure and pulse will return to normal
• In just 24 hours carbon monoxide is eliminated from the body and the lungs will start to clear
• Within 2-12 weeks circulation improves, making walking and running a lot easier
• At 3-9 months coughs, wheezing and breathing problems
• The risk of heart attack is halved after 1 year of not smoking
• After 10 years of quitting the risk of lung cancer is halved

The CCG has also worked closely with colleagues in Public Health teams and York Hospital to launch its own ‘Stop before your op’ campaign – encouraging smokers in the Vale of York to ditch the nicotine habit, especially if they are due to have hospital treatment or an operation; a time when it is even more important to give up cigarettes for good.

Dr Emma Broughton said: “Patients that smoke and have surgery are at the greatest risk of complications during or after an operation. These include potentially serious complications such as heart attacks and strokes, as well as problems related to the general anaesthetic. Fighting infection is also more difficult for a smoker.

“Patients see the diagnosis of a smoking related illness as a wake-up call to stop smoking. However, given that a healthy lifestyle reduces the risk of post-operative complications, the ‘Stop before your op’ policy offers patients who smoke the ideal opportunity to give up before they are faced with the diagnosis of a serious condition.

“Nicotine is highly addictive but with help and support more and more people are finding it easier to stop. There are a wide variety of nicotine substitutes and support services to help smokers quit available on the NHS.”

As soon as smokers join the Stoptober challenge, they’ll start receiving as much or as little support as they want to keep them on track. Stoptober provides smokers with a range of free support including a new stop smoking pack, a 28-day mobile phone app and text support with daily updates and quitting advice, detailed tools and tips for coping.

Dr Emma Broughton added: “Evidence shows that people are far more likely to stop smoking for good if you get the right support. As well as the fantastic support available via the Stoptober challenge, your GP can help in lots of different ways to go smoke free including Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) sprays, gum and patches to manage withdrawal and prescription medicines such as Zyban and Champix.”

To sign up to the Stoptober challenge today please visit:

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