HSSD staff who smoke and want to stop will be encouraged and supported to take up the ‘Stoptober’ 28 day stop smoking challenge on 1 October. The challenge is being promoted nationally by the NHS for the first time and encourages people to stop together with the aim of being smokefree for 28 days into October.
Help2Quit Coordinator Dr Rhona Reardon said: “We know that if you can stop smoking completely for the first 28 days, you are five times more likely to be successful in stopping smoking for good.”
This event closely follows Health and Social Services completing its first six months as a smokefree organisation.
Senior Health Promotion Officer, Martin Knight said “HSSD went smokefree to protect the health and wellbeing of all the people using our services; not just patients. The health of our staff is of critical importance to service delivery and in the run up and the first months of smokefree we supported staff to both stop smoking for good and also to abstain during working hours. We now want to use the ‘Stoptober’ challenge as an extra opportunity to motivate and support staff who are still smoking who want to stop.
“We know that around 19 staff have given up smoking for good, with the support of the Help2Quit Service since the organisation went smokefree, and many more have used it as an opportunity to give up without support, which is great news,” added Martin.
Smokers across the organisation have been encouraged to turn up to a drop in clinic to help support them in preparing to start their challenge for the 28 days of Stoptober.
The event will be evaluated to help in planning a wider public event for next year’s ‘Stoptober’ activities.