Smokers across Bath and North East Somerset are being urged to ditch their habit for Stoptober, with an aim to becoming smoke free by 28th October.
Until 2nd October, a pop-up shop in Bath run by stop-smoking experts from Sirona care & health will be providing local residents with vital free support in the run-up to the event.
It is open 10am to 2pm daily plus on 1st October, it is also open 5pm to 7pm.
People dropping into the shop at Seven Dials in the city centre will be able to pick up information, get advice and support from a stop-smoking adviser and have a carbon monoxide breath test.
During September and October, smokers seeking help from Sirona’s Specialist Stop Smoking Service will also be offered free nicotine replacement therapy patches, while stocks last, to help them quit.
This year, there is all the more reason for people to put out their cigarettes for good as from 1st October drivers and passengers in England spotted smoking in cars with under-18s inside will be fined £50.
For many, the high-profile Stoptober campaign and easy access to help is exactly the push they need to quit for good, as former smoker Michael West from Snow Hill can testify.
Last year Mr West gave up his 40-a-day habit on the spot when he dropped into Sirona’s Stoptober pop-up shop to speak to an advisor – and the 61-year-old security worker hasn’t looked back since.
He said: “I just thought I can’t afford this, spending all this money on cigarettes. Now I can taste and smell my food and I don’t get breathless any more – I don’t miss it at all and can even stand outside with people who are smoking.
“If they offer me a cigarette I just say, ‘You carry on’. I don’t want to smell of tobacco.”
At first, Mr West used nicotine replacement therapy patches and now just has nicotine spray in case he needs it – although mints do the trick, too, he says.
With the extra cash, Mr West has treated partner Ann Griffin to a day out for her birthday and is saving for a holiday for the both of them next year – a strong incentive.
He added: “To anyone thinking of giving up this Stoptober I would say you’ll certainly save money. I’d sooner have my holiday than cigarettes.”
Richard Merrett, Sirona’s Stop Smoking Lead, said: “Stoptober is a great opportunity for a smoker to improve their health and in turn their family’s health.
“Three million children are exposed to second-hand smoke in cars, putting their health at risk. Now is the best opportunity for smokers to head towards a smoke-free future.
“If they aren’t quite ready to quit then they can still meet one of our experienced advisors to chat about the various options that are available to them.
“Even if they are smoking and using e-cigarettes or stopped smoking but now using just e-cigarettes then they are welcome to come and see us. Advice and support is free.”
Councillor Vic Pritchard, Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care & Heath, and Chairman of the Health & Wellbeing Board, said: “We’re determined to help smokers to kick the habit for good and Stoptober is a great way to do this.
“The Specialist Stop Smoking Service at Sirona Care & Health can support you all the way through a detailed step-by-step programme to help you achieve your goal.
“We urge smokers to give them a call and increase your chances of quitting for good.”
Sirona’s specialist stop smoking advisors can be contacted on 01225 831852 or email via: firstname.lastname@example.org.