7 March 2016

No Smoking Day – why not give up that ‘filthy habit’?

Smokers in Brighton & Hove are being urged to take the first step in giving up cigarettes for good on national No Smoking Day – Wednesday 9 March.

In Brighton & Hove it is estimated that around 23% of adults – which comes to more than 52,000 people – are smokers. National figures also suggest that two-thirds of smokers want to give up smoking – in other words, nearly 35,000 adults in Brighton and Hove want to give up smoking.

People like Miranda Stephens are taking action, and many of them are being helped by specialist pharmacy stop smoking advisors like Nima Rad.

For Miranda, 56, the arrival of her grand-daughter has been a big motivation. “It’s a filthy and very expensive habit and I don’t want her to see me doing it. I also want to improve my health,” she says.

“My GP referred me to my local pharmacy and they’ve been great. The 1-1 support they’ve offered me has been really valuable. Giving up is not just a physical thing, there are also psychological factors you need to be aware of.

“The specialist advice I’ve had, combined with the patches and lozenges and inhaler to deal with the physical symptoms, have made all the difference. It’s still one day at a time for me, but I’ve not smoked for a month now and I intend to keep it that way.”

Nima Rad is a training pharmacist at Ross Pharmacy in York Place. He says: “There are so many people who want to give up smoking, and we want to help all of them.

“We work closely with GP surgeries and offer free 1-1 support to all our clients.

“Nobody is pretending it’s always easy to give up smoking. But if you think you’re ready to quit and are feeling motivated to do so, then with our support you should be fine.”

A free information event advising people on giving up smoking is being in the afternoon of No Smoking Day (Wednesday 9 March) in and around St Peter’s Church on York Place.

If you’d like more information on giving up smoking, please:

  • Contact your GP surgery
  • Visit your local pharmacist
  • Visit www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/stopsmoking

People who prefer to do things online can take advantage of ‘Smoke Free Me’ instead. This is a free stop-smoking course run specifically through the internet – www.smokefreeme.co.uk

For smokers who are housebound because of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or another long term condition, highly skilled stop smoking advisors can also offer home-based one to one support. For more information speak to your local pharmacy.  

Brighton & Hove City Council’s director of public health, Dr Tom Scanlon, said: “Giving up smoking is the single best thing you can do for your health.

“We understand that many people find the thought of giving up daunting, and that most people are more likely to quit if they have some support.

“We want people to know that support is available at a place near you to help you give up smoking.

“Giving up is also great for your bank balance. People smoking a pack a day are likely to be spending more than £3,000 a year on their habit.

“Most GP practices and pharmacies in the city provide a stop smoking service. Your local pharmacy is a great place to go for advice and the stop smoking service is often available without an appointment and at weekends.”

The council works with the local NHS, pharmacies and the local Health Trainers service to offer this support.