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Smokers are being urged to join a month-long stop smoking challenge which could add years to their life.
Health chiefs in the county are backing Stoptober, which encourages people to lay off the cigarettes for 28 days, offering them a range of support to beat their habit.
More than 80,000 people in East Sussex smoke, with more than 1,000 smoking-related deaths recorded in the county last year.
Smokers who quit for a month are five times more likely to stay smoke-free, and research from Public Health England shows smokers who quit during Stoptober and don’t smoke again could gain an extra seven days of life, every 28 days, for the rest of their life.
Cynthia Lyons, East Sussex acting director of public health, said: “Although levels of smoking continue to fall, it is still the biggest cause of premature death across the country and one in two long-term smokers die as a result of smoking.
“Although everyone knows the risks, quitting is not easy. However, stopping for 28 days is an achievable goal, and people who meet the Stoptober challenge are far more likely to quit smoking for good. Life is precious and many people who quit smoking now can potentially add years to their life.“
To coincide with Stoptober, the county Stop Smoking service is holding events at Conquest Hospital, in Hastings, on Friday October 4 and Eastbourne District General Hospital on Thursday October 10.
Around 160,000 people across the country completed last year’s Stoptober challenge, and this year’s initiative starts on Tuesday, October 1 and runs for 28 days.
Stoptober offers range of free support including stop smoking packs, 28-day mobile phone apps, text support with daily updates, quitting advice and detailed tools and tips for coping, as well as encouragement and support from thousands of people sharing the experience of quitting together through social media.
More information is available at https://stoptober.smokefree.nhs.uk/