Southampton City Council are encouraging local smokers to use a new national online resource to help them quit smoking, due to growing concerns around coronavirus (COVID-19) and the increased risk of illness that smokers might face
A survey of Southampton residents during lockdown (April-May) showed that 20% of responders who smoked are keen to quit now. Most concerning, the survey showed that those respondents who were smoking would already be at higher risk of illness from coronavirus due to other factors, or live in a household where others would be, so it’s particularly important that they reduce their further heightened risk by quitting smoking.
If you are a smoker wanting to quit, get information and support from the #QuitforCovid campaign via the Today is the Day website. For specialist advice on quitting see their QuitCast with #QuitforCovid advisers Maggie and Louise. They also run a Twitter Quit Clinic every evening, 7.30-8.30pm. Tweet your questions using the hashtag #QuitforCovid or email email@example.com You can also ask questions of leading experts by tweeting @QuitforCOVID.
In Southampton, participating local pharmacies in partnership with Southampton Public Health, currently offer limited support for those trying to quit, including free Nicotine Replacement Therapies and advice, though face-to-face consultations are suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. Learn more and see a full list of participating pharmacies
Cllr Lorna Fielker, Cabinet Member for Health and Adults, said: "If you've been trying to quit smoking before, now you have another reason to give it another go. We're supporting QuitforCovid online and encouraging you to visit the council's stop smoking webpage, or alternatively, the Smokefree NHS website to find a local participating pharmacy that can help you quit."
Dr Zoe Pond, Respiratory Physician at University Hospitals Southampton and Clinical Lead for Smoking Cessation, said: The benefits of stopping smoking begin immediately and increase with time including reducing the risk of heart attacks, strokes, cancer and breathing problems. The best way to quit is with a combination of medication and support available through the NHS.