The success of Croydon’s quit-smoking team is behind the decision to make the town one of only 10 across the country to host this year’s Stoptober Roadshow.
Latest figures from the Health & Social Care Information Centre show that, in the year 2014-15, Croydon supported 2,147 residents to stop smoking for four weeks – more than any other London borough – as well as about 800 for 12 weeks. The figures include a 20% increase in the number of residents who were from priority groups of high need, such as those who are pregnant or have a long-term illness.
The numbers exceed London and national averages for quit rate, and were achieved with one of the smallest teams in the capital.
The Stoptober Roadshow will set camp in Centrale on Saturday 26 September, between 11am and 5pm. In addition to a range of aids and advice to help smokers to make a break from their addiction, it will feature hilarious performances from dynamic entertainment troupe Faces of Disco, the Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalists.
Stoptober, Public Health England’s 28-day mass stop-smoking event, is back from 1 October following its success last year in helping more than 260,000 people nationally in their quit attempt. Evidence shows that if a smoker can go 28 days without a cigarette, they are five times more likely to stay permanently smoke-free.
Smoking prevalence in Croydon is currently estimated at 17% and the Stoptober Roadshow will encourage smokers to sign up for the campaign, and give up for good.
As well as being able to sign up to Stoptober, quitters will receive information, expert advice and support from the stop-smoking team present at the roadshow. In addition, there will be life-size health and wealth wheels, enabling smokers to track the benefits that quitting smoking has on their health and bank balances.
Councillor Louisa Woodley, cabinet member for families, health and social care
“Croydon is one of 50 Heart Towns in the UK working in partnership with the British Heart Foundation to fight heart disease.
“Quitting smoking could add up to 10 years to your life; that’s 10 more years to spend with your loved ones. As well as the obvious benefits to your health and family, giving up smoking has significant financial and social benefits, too.
“We hope that even more Croydon residents will sign up to Stoptober, beating last year’s achievement.”
This year, Stoptober will also be providing quitters with a personal touch from some of the nation’s leading comedians – Bill Bailey, Rhod Gilbert, Al Murray and Shappi Khorsandi. Inspired by their personal experiences with smoking, the comedians are supporting the campaign, and will be sending messages of support and encouragement straight to quitters’ phones and emails throughout October.
There will also be lots of tips, jokes and distractions available on Stoptober’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, along with support from the thousands of people quitting together.
The council’s free walk-in service at the Healthy Living Hub in the Central Library, Katharine Street, is open throughout the week encouraging even more people to quit. No appointments necessary.
Search Stoptober online for more information, or call 0800 019 8570 for local stop-smoking services.