Smokers Urged To Be A "Proud Quitter"

Nearly 14% of Merton adults are smokers

GPs in Merton have been urging people across the borough to take the first step in quitting smoking for good on No Smoking Day which took place on Wednesday March 11.

The theme for 2015 is ‘Proud to be a Quitter’ with the official No Smoking Day website featuring inspirational stories of people who have managed to stop smoking.

While studies show that two-thirds of smokers want to quit, nearly one in five UK adults continue to smoke, including 13.9% of Merton adults.

Smoking remains the primary cause of preventable death in England. More than 80,000 smokers die each year as a result of smoking- related disease.

Dr Howard Freeman, local GP and Chair of NHS Merton CCG said: "There are so many benefits to quitting smoking and it's never too late. After 24 hours of hours of stopping, lungs start clearing out your build-up of tar and after 3-9 months, your lungs will have room for up to 10% more oxygen.

"Any day is a good day to stop smoking but No Smoking Day gives smokers another opportunity to try and quit. There are many local NHS services and schemes across Merton available all year round to give advice and support for people who want to stop smoking.

"Surveys have shown that people are more likely to successfully quit if they have the support of family and friends. So don’t be afraid to ask. It is time to stub out those cigarettes once and for all, hold your head up high, and be proud to be a quitter."

Councillor Caroline Cooper-Marbiah, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health, Merton Council) said: "Giving up smoking is a one of the best things you can do to improve your health. Not only does quitting make you feel better and improve your breathing, you also save a lot of money.

"Making the first step is difficult, but on No Smoking Day you can join millions of people up and down the country that will try and kick the habit.

"Merton's LiveWell service helps people who want to quit and offer one to one or group support. To find out more call 020 8251 0606."

March 11, 2015