Quitting smoking doesn’t have to be stressful – that’s the theme of this year’s No Smoking Day (Wednesday 10 March), a sentiment echoed by North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has seen the Trust move its smoking cessation services to being entirely phone-based. But taking the stress out of quitting is still a priority for the quit smoking team.
Specialist stop smoking adviser Rafeed Rashid said: “No one will ever claim stopping smoking is easy, but it doesn’t have to be so stressful that lighting up again seems like the only option.
“We have a load of support for people, from practical tips to nicotine replacement therapies to help even the heaviest of smokers get past those cravings.
“We can’t see you in person, but we’re on the end of the phone for you whenever you need us.”
It is feared that the pandemic, lockdowns and other restrictions may have made some smokers less willing to consider quitting. Raf has some advice for them: “This may seem like a difficult time to quit, but that’s not the case.
We know that pre-existing lung conditions can leave people more susceptible to COVID-19 and it’ll certainly impact on a smoker even more.
“Quitting is one of the best things you can do for your health. And we’re here to help you do it.”
Quit for good
Stoptober – Rafeed Rashid
Rafeed: It’s a great time for smokers to make a quit attempt during Stoptober, to achieve better health by stopping smoking for 28 days.
Title card: www.nhs,uk/better-health/quit-smoking
Rafeed: Research shows that you’re more likely to remain as a non-smoker and increase your chances by five times to remain as a non-smoker.
There’s quite a lot of support available for all. And on the wards for inpatients, support is available in the form of nicotine replacement therapy. Upon discharge, we do encourage staff to make referrals into the community so smokers do have access to specialist services when you’re going back into the community.