Smokers in Portsmouth and surrounding areas urged to do Stoptober

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Debbie Cartmell from the QA delivers a gift to a resident at Bluewater Care Home as part of last year's appeal

QA Hospital staff collect gifts to donate to people in care homes

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SMOKERS are being urged to sign up to Stoptober as figures show around one-in-five people have quit the habit so far this year.

The national campaign encourages people to stop smoking for the whole of October.

And data from Public Health England shows in the first six months of this year, 59 per cent of Portsmouth residents who had one-on-one support managed to quit smoking.

In Hampshire, 66 per cent of smokers who used telephone support services managed to stop.

Nationally, quitting success rates are at their highest for at least a decade, up to 19.8 per cent for the first six months of this year. This is significantly higher than the average for the past 10 years of 15.7 per cent.

Smoking rates are in decline with 13.6 per cent of people in Hampshire classed as smokers and 20.1 per cent of people in Portsmouth.

Jason Mahoney, tobacco lead for Public Health England south east, said: ‘Stoptober is a perfect time for smokers to try and give up smoking – however many times they may have tried in the past. The annual campaign provides the perfect opportunity for family, friends and colleagues to work together towards quitting smoking for good.

‘Now more than ever before there are a host of quit smoking aids and free support services available.

‘I would encourage anyone thinking of quitting to make a plan and take part in Stoptober.’

To sign up or for more information visit nhs.uk/oneyou/stoptober.