SMOKERS have been given words of encouragement as part of a 28-day stop-smoking challenge.
The nationwide Stoptober roadshow came to Commercial Road yesterday to mark the return of the nation’s biggest mass quit-smoking attempt.
The challenge, from Public Health England, encourages smokers to use humour to help them quit for good this October.
As well as being able to sign up to Stoptober, smokers could get information and advice on stopping from Pompey Quit.
And people could tell jokes and record messages of support on a big screen to share via social media.
Catherine Bennett is a marketing officer for Public Health.
She said: ‘These events are probably the most important out of everything.
‘We are talking to people about giving up smoking which is quite a psychological problem so you need that face-to-face support.
‘The roadshows go around the country and have been very well received.’
Stoptober Jugglers, Mark Abbott and Johnny Wright, are street performers.
They brought to life their personal experiences of quitting. The performers taught potential quitters how to juggle in a bid to provide a welcome distraction to those taking up the challenge. Evidence shows that if a smoker can go 28 days without a cigarette, they are five times more likely to stay permanently smoke-free.
Stoptober provides smokers with a range of free tools including a new stop-smoking pack, a 28-day mobile phone app, text support with daily updates, quitting advice and tips for coping, as well as the encouragement and support from thousands of people through social media channels.
The 28-day challenge began on Wednesday.
To find your local stop-smoking service visit portsmouth.gov.uk and search ‘stop smoking’ or call (023) 9229 4001.