Smokers encouraged to quit as Stoptober returns

Smokers in Northumberland are being urged to take part in Stoptober, as the nation’s biggest quitting campaign reaches its 10-year anniversary.

Thursday, 30th September 2021, 11:00 am
From left, Liz Morgan, Ailsa Rutter and Cllr Wendy Pattison.

Fresh and Northumberland County Council are encouraging people to join in and stay quit for 28 days so they can feel fitter and healthier, and enjoy more money in their pocket.

Stoptober arrives as a recent report from Cancer UK showed the number of 18 to 34-year-olds who smoke in England increased by 25 per cent in the first Covid-19 lockdown.

The pressures and mental toll that come with coping with the pandemic is likely to have contributed to a considerable increase in the number of people smoking cigarettes in England and the UK as a whole.

Liz Morgan, director of public health at Northumberland County Council, said: “Quitting is one of the best things smokers can do for their health.

“Covid-19 is still with us and stopping smoking will reduce the likelihood of complications from the virus, as well as reducing the risk of getting other acute respiratory infections.”

Cllr Wendy Pattison, county council cabinet member for adult well-being, added: “It's never too late to quit.

“With Stoptober approaching, there is no better time to take the first step in quitting cigarettes for good, and I would encourage people to take advantage of the range of free support available to them in Northumberland.”

Evidence shows that people are three times more likely to quit for good if they have support from their local NHS stop smoking service. Many people try to quit smoking with willpower alone, but it is much easier with the right help in place.

Ailsa Rutter, director of Fresh and Balance, said: “The North East has seen massive progress over the last decade with fewer adults and children smoking. Most smokers wish they had never started and do not want their own children to smoke.

“As we go into the winter, we are all conscious of the need to stay fit and healthy and not place ourselves at an additional risk of ill health. Smoking harms your fitness and your lungs, and increases the risks of influenza, cancer, heart disease and stroke.”

People can call the Northumberland Stop Smoking Service on 01670 813135 and for more information about Stoptober, go to