28 days that will change your life – join Brighton and Hove ‘Quit Club’ with friends, family and colleagues this Stoptober

Smokers are being urged to join Brighton & Hove Quit Club in a bid to encourage residents to pledge to quit with their loved ones, friends and colleagues as part of Stoptober 2015.

A quarter of the population of Brighton and Hove smoke – around 58,000 adults - and evidence suggests that two-thirds of these want to kick the habit. Over 1,400 residents in the city took part in 2014 Stoptober.

Brighton & Hove Quit Club builds on the concept of “social quitting” by encouraging local residents to “Pledge” to quit smoking with their loved ones, friends and colleagues.

Quit Club is aiming high, looking to exceed the past achievements of Stoptober 2014 in the number of smokers quitting. Success will depend on residents spreading the word to love ones, friends and colleagues via Facebook and Twitter #BtonQuitClub. Smokers can join Quit Club now by pledging to quit here  where they can access the free online Smoke Free Me programme and find local Pharmacies and GPs and arrange face-to-face support and medicines.

Using Smoke Free Me, Emile from Seven Dials is celebrating being smoke free for 3 months, he found the hardest challenge was saying “No, I don't smoke” to his smoking excuse buddy “but it felt so good”. Contact the media team for a photo of Emile and hear his story here.

Beverley, 49, has one son, and has been a smoker since she was 11 years old. Having smoked between 25-30 each day, she kicked the habit seven months ago when she was developed Type 2 respiratory failure due to her smoking.

“Having been a smoker for most of my life, it wasn't until I developed Type 2 Respiratory failure earlier this year that I chose to quit for good. Because my illness is so bad, I know my breathing won’t be the same again, however quitting smoking has given me that second chance in life. Because of my struggle with breathing, this has made lose a lot of weight, but the extra money saved has allowed me to spend more on quality and healthier food options."

"I’d recommend those looking to quit to sign up to Stoptober this month, and if will power is not enough, then the use of e-cigarettes will help. I used e-cigarettes once I quit, but it’s important to stick to this mentality and not be tempted again by a cigarette. I wouldn’t want what’s happened to me to happen to anyone else. My illness due to smoking scared me enough to want to quit for good, and I definitely see myself as one of the fortunate ones.”

Albion in the Community Brighton & Hove Albion’s official charity are encouraging local pub landlords to challenge their customers to pledge to quit smoking and join the Quit Club as a pub team for Stoptober.  They are running the Stoptober Pub Challenge, “Kick The Habit”.  The pub or bar with most pledges to quit at the end of October will win 10 tickets to a Brighton and Hove Albion home match and a trophy. Any landlords wishing to register should contact Sue Brown at sue.brown@albioninthecommunity.org.uk before 25 September.

As well as Quit Club, a Stoptober Roadshow will be promoting the support available to local smokers who want to quit. The roadshow will be held on Saturday 10th October from 10am to 5pm in Ship Street, Brighton, between TK Maxx and Fabrica Church.

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, who have organised the roadshow, will be at the Stoptober Roadshow to raise awareness of fire risks caused by not disposing of cigarettes properly and to advise people on where to get help to quit.

ESFRS Borough Commander for Brighton and Hove Mark Matthews said

"Many people know that smoking is considered the nation’s leading preventable cause of death. What is less widely known is that cigarettes and other smoking products are the biggest cause of fatal fires in the home - that's why we fully support Stoptober and will be at the Roadshow to give help and advice."

Also at the Brighton and Hove Stoptober Roadshow will be the Council’s Public Health team, Cancer Prevention, Do Something Different and Albion in the Community, who will be helped out by Gully, the Brighton & Hove Albion Mascot.

Dr Tom Scanlon, Director of Public Health at the Council said:

“Cigarette smoking is the number one cause of preventable disease and death worldwide. This October Public Health England launches the fourth Stoptober campaign to encourage smokers across the country to stop smoking for 28 days during the month of October.

“By stopping smoking for 28 days you are 5 times more likely to quit for good. This year’s campaign places greater emphasis on ‘social quitting’ with two-thirds of smokers more likely to quit when their partner stops smoking and a third more likely when a close friend or a colleague stops.

“Join the Brighton Quit Club and be part of a city-wide effort to quit and stay quit. It's free, it's local and you can do it right now!"