The PHA is urging smokers to order a free quit today following new research which shows that nearly 65% of smokers found it helped them to give up or cut down on their smoking.
The PHA has distributed over 19,000 quit kits since January 2011 and recent research* on the Quit Kit shows that almost 65% (64.6%) of smokers found it helpful in their attempts to stop or cut down on their smoking, with four out of ten respondents stating that they found it very (26.1%) or extremely helpful (13.7%).
More than 80% (83.3%) agreed that the Quit Kit gave practical help regarding stopping smoking and over 65% (67.1%) were satisfied with the Quit Kit, with 35.6% stating they were “extremely satisfied”. Three quarters (75.4%) of those asked said they would recommend the Quit Kit to a friend or family member.
Gerry Bleakney, Head of Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement, PHA, said: “In Northern Ireland around 340,000 people aged 16 and over smoke, and sadly one in every two smokers die early because of their smoking habit. The good news is that the benefits of stopping smoking start immediately and continues for the rest of your life, as long as you don’t start smoking again.”
Research1 shows us that 20 minutes after quitting your heart rate and blood pressure drops,i after 12 hours the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal,ii and by five years the risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder are cut in half. Cervical cancer risk falls to that of a non-smoker after five years, while the risk of a stroke risk can drop to that of a non-smoker after two - five years,iii and after 10 years the risk of lung cancer reduces to half that of a smoker.iv
Gerry added: “However, stopping smoking is not easy and different approaches will work for different people. While some might be able to do it with very little support, others find that planning ahead and making use of the Stop Smoking Support Services that are available can really help them make the decision permanent.
“The free stop smoking Quit Kit is a great tool to help people who are thinking about planning their quit attempt.”
Gerry is urging everyone thinking about stopping smoking to log onto the PHA Want 2 Stop website at www.want2stop.info and order a free Quit Kit. More than 60% (64.6%) of smokers felt the quit kit has given them more confidence in their ability to stop smoking.
She continued: “You can also ring the Smokers’ Helpline free on 0808 812 8008 for help on planning to stop smoking or to find out where your nearest Stop Smoking Service is. There are currently over 600 services across Northern Ireland in pharmacies, GP surgeries, hospitals, communities and workplaces.
“Last year over 34,000 people decided to stop smoking using the PHA’ s Stop Smoking Services and many others also gave up on their own. With the right advice and support you can become one of the thousands of people that manage to quit every year. If you quit and then relapse, accept it, work out why it happened, and focus on how you can avoid it in the future. It takes several efforts for many people to quit for good, but if you are determined, you will do it. ‘Be prepared’ is the motto for success.”
Contact the PHA Communications office on 028 9055 3663
Notes to the editor
* An internal PHA evaluation of the Quit Kit.
1 For more information on the health benefits over time see American Cancer Society, Inc. 2012
I. Effect of smoking on arterial stiffness and pulse pressure amplification, Mahmud A, Feely J. Hypertension. 2003:41:183
II. US Surgeon General’s Report, 1988, p. 202
III. A Report of the Surgeon General: How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease - The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease Fact Sheet, 2010; and Tobacco Control: Reversal of Risk After Quitting Smoking. IARC Handbooks of Cancer Prevention, Vol. 11. 2007, p 341
IV. A Report of the Surgeon General: How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease - The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease Fact Sheet, 2010; and US Surgeon General’s Report, 1990, pp. vi, 155, 165