Residents needing motivation to kick their smoking habit were urged to take the first step in giving up cigarettes for good on Wednesday’s No Smoking Day.
It is estimated that more than 17% of adults in Croydon smoke and the council is encouraging those who want to improve their health by ditching the fags to get help from local stop-smoking services.
This year’s theme was “Proud to be a quitter” and campaign organiser the British Heart Foundation used inspirational stories of ex-smokers to highlight the life-changing benefits of quitting.
As well as helping to prolong life, protect loved ones from second-hand smoke and saving money, quitting smoking helps improve physical fitness, increases energy levels and reduces breathlessness.
Proud quitters spoke of their challenges and achievements during their stop-smoking journey at a mobile clinic, which also offered advice and support to smokers wanting to give up, stationed outside Access Croydon in Mint Walk. Students benefited too, with advisers visiting and offering help in Croydon College on the day.
Councillor Louisa Woodley, cabinet member for families, health and social care
“Most people know that smoking is bad for their health, but we also know that many find the task of quitting just too daunting.
“Any time is a good time to quit, but the annual No Smoking Day is the perfect opportunity to inspire smokers in Croydon to make those first steps to stub out the cigarettes for good.
“With support, smokers are more likely to succeed in their quit attempt. That’s why our stop-smoking advisers were out in force on No Smoking Day, educating smokers on the range of local services and resources available to them.”
Croydon’s stop-smoking service is available all year, offering a full range of free online tools and support, and face-to-face guidance. The service is free to anyone living, working or registered with a GP in Croydon. Visit www.croydon.gov.uk/smokefree to find your local adviser or call 0800 019 8570.
Blogs and advice on how to stop smoking, alongside information on the health benefits of quitting, can be found at www.nosmokingday.org.uk