6 March 2015

No Smoking Day Wednesday 11 March - Quitting for Health and Safety

Smoking can damage your health and your home which is why the East Sussex Fire Brigade will be parked at the entrance to Accident & Emergency Royal Sussex County Hospital next Wednesday along with stop smoking advisors from local NHS services.

Anna Fairhurst, Smoking Cessation Service Lead, said: ”We will be here all day talking to smokers who would like to quit and directing them to the hospital pharmacy for help and support: we want to emphasise the central role that pharmacies play in helping smokers to quit. Many ex-smokers have also told us that it has been so much easier knowing that they can pop in to the chemist without having to make an appointment and after normal work hours. Ashton’s pharmacy in Seven Dials and Weston’s just off the Lewes Road are both open until 10pm every night. 

Our aim is to encourage significant numbers of smokers to use their community pharmacy for help to quit: in this way we are reaching people before they develop irretrievable health problems, such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Emphysema and lung cancer.”

The Fire Service will be promoting their free Home Safety Check which is a pre-arranged appointment to visit your home and carry out an assessment of any potential fire risks in your home, one of which could be a lit cigarette accidentally dropped, but also overloaded electrical sockets, or dangerously placed fat fryer pans. If you don’t already have one, you may qualify for a free smoke alarm which will be fitted free of charge during the visit.

The Fire Service will be at the event to raise awareness of fire risks caused by not disposing of cigarettes properly. 

Borough Commander Mark Matthews said: "Many people know that smoking is considered the nation’s leading preventable cause of death. But it is less widely known that cigarettes and other smoking products cause a third of all accidental fire fatalities in the home, the biggest killer in accidental fires - that's why we fully support No Smoking Day."

City firefighters will be at the event to give advice to those not ready to quit, and those who care for someone who smokes. They will also be promoting the service's free Home Safety Visits, which can help with some preventative measures.  The visits also look at wider safety issues within the home, such as electrical safety and cooking safety, and you may qualify for a free smoke alarm if you don't already have one fitted: you can call 0800 177 7069 to see if you are eligible for a free visit.”

Brighton and Hove NHS Stop Smoking Services are based at community pharmacies and GP surgeries across the city providing free behavioural support and smoking cessation treatment tailored to the individual’s needs. There is extensive evidence that these methods increase smokers’ chances of successfully remaining smoke free longer term. This year, over one million smokers are expected to use No Smoking Day to quit, and in Brighton & Hove alone 2002 smokers had managed to stop and stay stopped at their 4 week follow up in 2013/14.

The British Heart Foundation’s No Smoking Day annual campaign has been supported by an alliance of charities for 32 years of encouraging and helping smokers to stop and stay stopped.

For more information about No Smoking Day, visit www.nosmokingday.org.uk