Smokers in the Bradford District are being urged to consider their lung health and join the annual, nationwide Stoptober quit attempt which starts next month.

As winter approaches with the onset of winter illnesses such as flu and the present Covid-19 pandemic, now is the time for smokers to give up the habit. Quitting smoking will make breathing easier with improvements starting within 72 hours of the last cigarette, giving a greater chance of fighting respiratory illnesses.

Research has shown that if a smoker can quit for 28 days, they are five times more likely to make a permanent lifestyle change which can have a greater impact on their improvement in health long term.

Smokers who want to make the change can get free local support through Bradford Council’s Living Well website and by signing up to the Stoptober campaign. By signing up, smokers have access to the Stoptober app, Stoptober Facebook group, text and email support, and a Personal Quit Plan.

The Living Well Service can also help people to quit from shisha and the use of chewing tobacco like Paan, Naswar and Ghutka.

Not smoking is now the norm in England – 4 out of 5 people in the Bradford District don’t smoke. Despite smoking rates being lower than ever before, there were still over 72,000 smokers in 2019 which is higher than the regional and national average, with almost 6,000 hospital admissions each year attributable to smoking.

Stoptober is back for its ninth year and since launching in 2012, the campaign has driven over 1.9 million quit attempts and is the biggest mass participation quit attempt in the country.

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Healthy People and Places said:

“This year has made us all look at how we live our lives and how we can improve our health to fight Coronavirus. Quitting smoking is vitally important to fight against any of the winter respiratory illnesses that take hold each year. We know quitting smoking is not easy but Stoptober is the right time to try and the health benefits could be seen within days. There is support available through the Living Well Service and the Stoptober campaign. You can contact the Living Well Stop Smoking Service on 01274 437700 for free support across the district.

Our aim is to create a smoke free generation and this starts with existing smokers improving their long term health by quitting this October. It’s not too late to make a change in lifestyle, no matter what age. Even though smoking rates are at the lowest ever, there are still too many people across the district dying from smoking related illnesses and living with long term health issues because of smoking.”

Sarah Muckle, Director of Public Health in Bradford, said: “It’s really encouraging to see smoking rates in Bradford have dropped again within the last year but there is still a way to go as we still have more smokers in the district than the national average. Giving up smoking is the best thing a smoker can do for their health and Stoptober is a great opportunity to try to break the habit.”