Today is the Day to quit smoking

With smoking as the largest cause of preventable death in Brighton & Hove, we’re making sure that smokers know that support is available to help them quit. Smoking is responsible for over 358 deaths a year and every year a further 746 children take up smoking in the city. 

Brighton & Hove City Council's director of public health, Alistair Hill said: “Smoking remains the biggest killer in Brighton & Hove and we want to encourage all smokers to give quitting a go.

"Quitting smoking can rapidly reduce your risk of a range of life threatening illnesses and our dedicated local health trainer service can help support you through your quit attempt with expert advice and medications to deal with cravings.”

Increased risk from COVID-19

The council is supporting a new campaign ‘Today is the Day’, which encourages smokers to quit now to protect themselves from smoking related diseases and increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, 136,006 smokers* in the South East region have quit smoking. However, a further 49,282 smokers across the region have tried to quit but been unsuccessful.

Jo Congleton, Respiratory Consultant at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, said: “The coronavirus pandemic has made us all conscious of the need to protect ourselves, our families and loved ones.

It's never too late

"If you smoke, now is the time to quit to keep yourself healthy and out of hospital. In my role I see the harms of smoking every day, but it’s never too late to quit and experience health benefits, even if you are already unwell.

"Quitting smoking is the best thing smokers can do to improve their health so I’m proud to be supporting the Today is the Day campaign.”

Today is the Day is a national campaign organised by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) and funded by the Department of Health and Social Care. It directs smokers to effective support on the NHS Smokefree website. 

Deborah Arnott Chief Executive of ASH said: “Though lots of smokers have succeeded in stopping smoking since COVID-19 hit us, that still leaves many thousands more smokers who have not.

"This campaign is designed to encourage those who’ve not yet succeeded, to wake up and decide today is the day to stop smoking.”

Get support to quit 

If you would like free 1-1 support from trained and experienced advisors, the council’s Health Trainers offer behavioural support through telephone sessions. They can also arrange access to nicotine replacement products such as patches and gum.

Richard Wall was smoking 20 a day or more. Now smoke free for 10 weeks, he said: “I'm really, really glad that I came across the Health Trainer Service. Now I am breathing better and can smell better.

"Smoking is a powerful addiction and it had a grip on me. Now it's no longer on my mind all the time. The smoking was controlling me but now I have got my life back.

Saving up the money

"I am saving up the money I used to spend on tobacco for a holiday when the current COVID crisis is over.”

Isabelle Mouret has successfully quit after 30 years of smoking. She said: “The service made me accountable to myself. I was surprised how practical it was. It was exactly what I needed. The Covid crisis is definitely the right time to do it." 

Ragi Mikhael used our local Health Trainer Service to quit three months ago. He said “The adviser was so helpful and I'm very grateful for the support I received.

'I feel much better'

"I feel much better physically and psychologically. I was struggling with shortness of breath and a cough and now that is all in the past.

"I have already told friends who smoke to do what I did and ask for the advice and support. The service has good people who can help.”

Mr Mikhael is now getting support from the council’s Health Trainer Team to help him improve his diet and increase his physical activity. 

For more information or to get help you can: