STOP smoking advisors are issuing a final plea for people to help save millions of pounds to the local health economy by quitting smoking this month.
The Wigan Stop Smoking Service want smokers across the borough to take part in ‘Stoptober’ to try to get some of the estimated 62,900 smokers (nearly 20 per cent of the borough’s population) to quit.
One Wiagner who is taking up the challenge is 35-year-old Jenny Oxley, who has agreed to complete a weekly diary as she aims to quit her seven year habit for good.
Jenny, who lives in Marsh Green with her parents Edward and Sandra, will be helped along the way by her Stop Smoking Advisor Pauline Firth.
Jenny said: “I have been trying to cut down with a view to quitting all year and I finally decided to take up the 28 day challenge and hopefully be successfully off the cigarettes by the end of the month.
“I have smoked for about six or seven years and at one point I was smoking about 30 a day. It became a bit of a new year’s resolution last year to quit, but although I have cut down, it is difficult so I hope I will be off them for good by November 1.
“I’ve tried a few things like nicotine patches and gum, but whenever I get stressed I go back to cigarettes so hopefully I’ll be able to find something to help me with that.”
With health budgets due to be transferred in full to the Wigan Borough Clinical Commissioning Group (WBCCG) in April 2013, GPs are keen to warn the borough that unless measures are taken to stop smoking, other areas of healthcare may suffer as a result.
Dr Paul Turner, Consultant in Public Health for the Borough of Wigan said: “As a junior hospital doctor I did all I could as did my colleagues but often it was too late. For this reason I fully support the Stoptober challenge.”
If you would like to get help to quit you can contact the Stop Smoking Service now on 0500 7867 669 or visit www.alwch.nhs.uk/stopsmoking/
See Thursday’s Wigan Evening Post to see how Jenny is getting on.