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IOU a smokefree future

Date: 22/08/2008           Category: Medway PCT

· 1,333 people in Medway went smokefree last year · Research highlights importance of family in motivating smokers to quit Figures published by the NHS Information Centre show that 1,3331 people in Medway quit smoking with the local NHS Stop Smoking Service last year. That is equivalent to 3.5 people quitting each day. Along with NHS support, family is an important factor in helping people to go smokefree. In a recent ONS survey2, three quarters (74 per cent) of smokers said they want to stop smoking. Of these, one in five (20 per cent) cited family pressure as a motivation to quit and one in six (15 per cent) wanted to quit because of concerns about harming children. Over half (55 per cent) of smokers reported they had been encouraged to go smokefree by someone they knew in the past year. Female smokers were most likely to have been asked by either their children or their partner (both 22 per cent), while men were most likely to have been asked by their partner (21 per cent) followed by their parents (16 per cent). The NHS Smokefree campaign has responded by launching ‘IOU’ voucher books for people who want to offer a helping hand to a loved one who’s trying to become smokefree. The book contains suggested ‘IOUs’ such as “I’ll treat you to dinner if you talk to a stop smoking adviser one-to-one” and “I’ll tidy my bedroom if you stay smokefree on a family day out” along with space for friends and family to write their own personal messages of support. Details are also provided of free NHS support services to help smokers increase their chances of successfully becoming smokefree. Joscelin Yates from Medway Stop Smoking Service said: “It is encouraging that so many people in Medway have gone smokefree in the past year. Quitting is not easy, but the support of family and friends can make a real difference. If you’d like to order some ‘IOU’ vouchers to help your loved one quit or to find out more about the range of free stop smoking support available from the NHS, simply call 0800 169 0 169.” If you would like help to stop smoking telephone the NHS Smoking Helpline on 0800 234 6805. Sources for statistics: 1. Annual statistics collected from local NHS Stop Smoking Services by the NHS Information Centre, covering the period April 2007 to March 2008. 2. Smoking-Related Behaviour and Attitudes, 2007, ONS