31st Oct, 2020

Want to quit smoking? Take up Coventry's new 28-day October 'Stoptober' health challenge

COVENTRY’S smokers are urged to take up a new 28-day health challenge to kick the habit in October’s ‘Stoptober’.

The new Coventry Health Challenge campaign is encouraging city residents to improve and protect their health against Covid-19 and Flu this winter as a key theme this month, as part of the government’s Better Health campaign.

Free stop smoking support in Coventry is provided by Healthy Lifestyles Coventry (HLS), includes one-to-one coaching and free nicotine replacement therapy, as well helping people learn more about leading a healthier lifestyle.

A Lifestyle coach will be hosting a live Zoom session today (October 1) at 1.30pm for anyone intending to or wanting to quit. She will be joined by local client Tom who joined the stop smoking service along with his son and wife – they are all currently smoke free. You will be able to hear how they did it. The event will be repeated at the end of October with past and current clients encouraged to join the sessions to show people real examples of success in quitting and personal journeys.

Coun Kamran Caan, portfolio holder for public health and sport said: “This year Stoptober is part of the Coventry Health Challenge and being in good health is more important than ever, especially with the Covid-19 virus still circulating. Smoking damages your lungs, leading to respiratory conditions including bronchitis and pneumonia and can also worsen asthma, so quitting smoking permanently is a crucial step to improving health for the long-term.

“Stoptober is a great opportunity for anyone to quit and by completing the 28-day challenge you are five times more likely to give up for good. We have the fantastic Healthy Lifestyles Service in Coventry and I would encourage anyone wanting to take on Stoptober to access and make the most of the free support on offer.”

Calvin Holman, service director at Healthy Lifestyles Coventry, said: “Our service is here for people who want to give up and you’re actually four times more likely to quit for good with the help of a coach.

“Our service is free and you can receive support from the comfort of your home. Our coaches will work with you on a one to one basis – over the phone, texts or through video chat. We can also provide access to nicotine replacement therapy to support you to quit. Stoptober is a great time to decide to quit, and we’re here to help people do that when they’re ready to make that move.”

The Covid-19 pandemic has presented new challenges leaving many people feeling more stressed, anxious or depressed, increasing smoking habits for some. Coventry’s Healthy Lifestyle Service figures have shown between September 2019 and February 2020, 58% of all people referring into the service have been looking for stop smoking support – an increase from 44%.

5 WELLBEING TIPS FOR ‘STOPTOBER’:

  •  CONNECT: If you are stopping smoking or wanting to eat better and become more physically active, use groups and coaching services to help keep you on track. HLS offer FREE support throughout your journey.
  • BE ACTIVE: Being physically active whilst you are quitting can enhance the physical benefits that quitting gives you and gives you another focus. You can set yourself goals like number of steps per day, or time spent doing something physical like gardening AND you can lower your BMI and cholesterol at the same time.
  • TAKE NOTICE: Use the time you would normally spend smoking, on enjoying the environment around you. Take short walks to up your physical activity, sit in the garden, take notice of what’s going on to help develop an awareness and appreciation of the smaller things.
  • LEARN: To keep your hands busy when you’re staying away from the cigarettes, try reading a book, doing a crossword or sudoku, or find a new recipe to try. You could also look for local clubs offering walks, activities or crafts.
  • GIVE: You help to support someone else who is trying to improve their lifestyle. Teaming up and offering some of your time to help others can make your lifestyle change easier and help to keep you on track.

Find out more information about the government’s Better Health campaign here.

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