– aim is to help 5,000 per year to stop smoking
– free face to face and online support
October 1, 2012
A new service starts up across Berkshire today (October 1, 2012), aiming to help 5,000 people per year to stop smoking.
The SmokeFreeLifeBerkshire service, from innovative healthcare company, Solutions 4 Health, will reach out to smokers across the county in workplaces, shopping malls, town centres, GP surgeries, schools, prisons and mobile clinics. The contract, which supports NHS Berkshire, aims to help 5,000 people to stop smoking, every year across Berkshire. Solutions 4 Health® will work with partner organisations including GP’s, Pharmacies and the national QUIT® stop-smoking charity, to reduce smoking prevalence rates.
The free service is available to people living or working in Berkshire, including Newbury, Thatcham, Wokingham, Reading, Theale, Mortimer, Pangbourne, Hungerford, Lambourn, Slough, Windsor, Ascot, Maidenhead and Bracknell. The service is also available via Solutions 4 Health’s innovative online stop smoking service, available at www.smokefreelifeberkshire.com.
“We have been working for some years with Berkshire East PCT, helping to deliver on their targets to reduce smoking prevalence. So we are delighted that, based on our success to date, NHS Berkshire have had the confidence to contract us to deliver services for the whole county.” Said Solutions 4 Health’s Regional Services Manager, Lynne Heasman. “We will continue to do this through providing face to face support for those wanting to quit smoking, as well as through our online service at www.smokefreelifeberkshire.com”
Welcoming the news, Janet Maxwell, Director of Public Health at NHS Berkshire West, said, “Tackling smoking at the community level is incredibly important, not just for the wellbeing of the community, but also to avoid people developing health issues later,.” She added, “I’m confident that Solutions 4 Health, with their proven track record and innovative approaches, will build on our previous successes to help as many people as possible to give up smoking.”
The service starts up on the same day that the Department of Health launches “Stoptober” its mass participation stop-smoking campaign across England. The campaign will encourage as many smokers as possible to attempt to go smoke-free for 28 days throughout the month. Research shows that smokers are five times more likely to stay smoke-free if they successfully make it through the first four weeks.”
Said Lynne Heasman, “We are pleased to be supporting Stoptober, which will be a welcome boost for the launch of our services. We know that smokers are four times more likely to quit successfully when they have professional support.”
Over 8 million people in England smoke, and while smoking rates have declined over past decades, the rate of decline has slowed in recent years. Twenty-one per cent of adults in England continue to smoke, which is why the Department of Health aims to reduce smoking prevalence among all adults to 18.5% by 2015.