A better Medway
Published: Monday, 30th September 2019

Medway Council is encouraging smokers to access support and advice on how to stub out smoking this Stoptober.

The council is supporting the national campaign led by Public Health England which encourages people to give up smoking during October.

It is estimated that around 21,000 people in Medway have stubbed out the habit since 2012.

The number of smokers in Medway has reduced from 25.5 per cent in 2012 to 14.7 per cent in 2018, a reduction of 10.8 per cent. Nationally, smoking prevalence has dropped by 4.9 per cent.

Each cigarette contains more than 4,000 chemicals and carbon monoxide. Smoking is the largest cause of preventable deaths in England and accounts for nearly 80,000 deaths every year.

Medway Council’s A Better Medway team provides free support and advice to residents who want to quit all year round. This includes one-to-one specialist support, online support, a free quit smoking app and a text to quit messaging service. The digital services aim to help residents with busy lifestyles quit smoking at any time and in any place.

Smokers are three times more likely to quit with help

Cllr David Brake, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder covering Public Health, said: “Thousands of people across the country will seek help to stop smoking during Stoptober. I would encourage residents to contact our Smokefree Advice Centre to find out more about the free support we offer to people who wish to stub out the habit. Smokers are three times more likely to quit with help, and with our new online services smokers can access support at any time, in any place.”

Smoking and oral health – six facts you need to know for Stoptober

  1. Smoking is the leading cause of oral cancers including cancers of the mouth, tongue, lips, gums and throat.
  2. Smoking causes gum disease. Adults with gum disease are more likely to lose teeth as swollen and inflamed gums cannot support them.
  3. Smoking increases the risk of having cavities and tooth decay as there is an increased build-up of bacterial plaque on the tooth surfaces.
  4. Bad breath is a common side effect of smoking. More than 4,000 chemicals pass through and collect in the mouth when you smoke.
  5. Tar and nicotine in tobacco stain tooth enamel leaving teeth looking yellow or brown.
  6. Smoking alters your ability to taste and smell foods.

To find out more visit www.medway.gov.uk/smokefree or visit the Smokefree Advice Centre in Railway Street, Chatham, between 10am and 5pm Monday to Friday and between 10am and 1pm on Saturdays.

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