Wakefield Council supports No Smoking Day

09/03/2020, PR-9326

Cllr Faith Heptinstall with Sally
Cllr Faith Heptinstall with Sally

Wakefield Council is reminding residents across the district of the support available to help them quit smoking ahead of No Smoking Day 2020.

Smoking rates in Wakefield have been falling in recent years, however, they continue to remain high compared to the national and regional averages. The overall smoking rate for the district is 19.3% (2018) compared to the England average of 14.4% and 16.7% for Yorkshire and the Humber.

However, it’s never too late to quit. No matter how long you've smoked for or how many cigarettes you smoke a day, your health will start to improve as soon as you quit.

Some health benefits are immediate, some are longer-term - a study found that ex-smokers who have stopped for a year or more are happier than current smokers and similar to never smokers.

People are also three times as likely to quit smoking than by using willpower alone if they use a local stop smoking service.

Sally had been a smoker since the age of 13 and, despite being a nurse, by her own admission, she “never wanted to quit”.

She said: “I had tried to quit several times by myself and never managed to maintain it. When my job brought me to Wakefield, I started to work with smokers who had long-term health conditions and I was inspired by the specialist stop smoking service to which I then became a part of.

“Since I became a stop smoking advisor six years ago, I have been smoke free and officially quit on No Smoking Day 2014!

“I could see first-hand how using a stop smoking service worked and it gave me the strength and support to quit myself, something which I never thought I’d be able to do.

“I would encourage anyone who is struggling to get in touch because I am proof that it really can change your life.”

Cllr Faith Heptinstall
Cllr Faith Heptinstall

​Cllr Faith Heptinstall, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults and Health, said: “Hearing Sally’s story shows just how important our stop smoking services are and the difference it can make - even to those who have been smoking for most of their lives.

“We understand that quitting isn’t easy but the health benefits are huge and that’s why we want to do everything we can to help our residents to quit smoking.”

From 1 April 2004 to 31 March 2019, South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s Stop Smoking Service helped to set 63,705 quit dates and supported 32,897 people to quit after four weeks in Wakefield.

There is lots of support available across the district to help people with quitting smoking and the Council want the public to have their say on this support to help improve future provision to help more people quit.

Cllr Heptinstall added: “We’d also like to hear how we can improve our stop smoking services so please take the time to fill out our survey and let’s make the Wakefield district a healthier and happier place for everyone.”

Please fill out the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/tobaccosurveypublic1

Hard copies of the survey will also be available at Wakefield Council libraries.

To contact the Stop Smoking Service in Wakefield go to: https://wakefield.yorkshiresmokefree.nhs.uk/ or call: 0800 612 0011 free from landlines or 0330 660 1166 free from most mobiles.

As smokers are up to four times more likely to suffer from sight loss, No Smoking Day is an ideal opportunity to spread the message that more than half of all sight loss is preventable. It’s really important for everyone to have regular eye tests, usually every two years, so that any problems can be found early. Eye tests are free for some people (children, over 60’s, people claiming certain benefits or with diabetes or glaucoma for example). For more information on eye health and stopping smoking see Wakefield Council’s eye health page at https://www.wakefield.gov.uk/health-care-and-advice/public-health/eye-health