Havering smokers urged to kick the habit for Stoptober

Stoptober runs throughout the month

Stoptober runs throughout the month - Credit: Archant

The NHS campaign Stoptober got under way on Tuesday, with Havering anti-smoking campaigners urging people to kick the habit for good.

The 28-day challenge calls on smokers to quit this month with help from a range of services and interactive online motivational tools.

North East London NHS Foundation Trust is putting on a stop-smoking roadshow on Friday, October 18 at Tesco in Romford and advisers say people should not be deterred if their first attempt at quitting is not successful.

Stop smoking service manager Nicola Hill said: “If you have tried to give up before and not succeeded, don’t worry.

“Whether you have tried once or several times already, the first step is to book an appointment now.”

One smoker who successfully quit is Christopher Latimer.

The 46-year-old had smoked since he was 17 and is a success story from last year’s Stoptober.

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He said: “I decided to stop smoking last October due to family pressures, concerns for my health and the increasing cost of smoking.”

After trying to quit smoking before with stop-smoking medications, such as patches, he ended up relapsing.

“This time I tried a tablet called Champix and it worked really well.

“Since stopping I haven’t looked back. The advice and support from the stop-smoking service is invaluable in helping me in my new lifestyle.”

Mr Latimer got involved after his wife contacted the service and booked an appointment with an adviser.

Mrs Hill fears that people still underestimate how seriously smoking affects health.

By quitting, life expectancy increases as the risk of having a heart attack decreases and skin looks younger.

She said: “Within 48 hours the senses of taste and smell improve and breathing becomes much easier.

“Over the next few weeks circulation improves and walking and running around become easier.”

For more information on the services available call 0800 032 102.

Are you giving up smoking for Stoptober? Tell us about it. Email robin.cottle@archant.co.uk, or call 020 8477 3858.