Stop smoking advisors are able to take their help direct to County Durham communities following the launch of a new “Wellness on Wheels” mobile clinic.
It parked up for the first time in Durham Market Place on Thursday (19th May) and is run by Smokefreelife County Durham (commissioned by Durham County Council and delivered by Solutions 4 Health) and provides free targeted support for smokers.
Other roadshow highlights included a giant bubble maker, Big Cig and a stilt walker encouraging people to stub it out, a #committoquit photo booth frame for those signing up on the day, live music and a commemorative cake cut.
Councillor Hovvels, Durham County Council’s cabinet member for adult and health services, said: “Smoking is still the biggest preventable cause of ill health in County Durham, and contributes to the death of nearly 1,200 people every year. We know many people who smoke would like to quit, so with support from our new Smokefreelife County Durham service, smokers will be helped to make their first step to a healthier and wealthier future.”
The Smokefreelife County Durham service is now available seven days a week, with services including the mobile clinic offered alongside a free telephone Quitline, text, email and traditional face-to-face support.
The existing, dedicated 21 strong team, that was previously part of County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, has transferred over to Solutions 4 Health to ensure a continuity of care and a continuing strong relationship with pharmacists, GPs, midwives, hospital consultants, health care and voluntary sector professionals.
Su Sear, the regional lead for Smokefreelife County Durham, said: “We take a very positive approach and are about reducing health inequalities through supporting and empowering people to improve their health and wellbeing. After all, smokers are at least four times more likely to quit successfully when they have professional support.
“County Durham has a higher than national average number of adults who smoke – and over 30% of people do in some more deprived areas. So, our aim is to raise the number of quitters to over 2,300 per year and make the service accessible to everyone who needs it.
“The mobile unit will be particularly useful in the less accessible areas of the county and help us to deliver support to groups like pregnant women, low income families, routine and manual workers and the BME and Gypsy Traveller communities.”
For more information about Smokefreelife County Durham County Council call 0800 772 0565 or 0191 369 2106, text QUIT to 66777, or visit www.smokefreelifecountydurham.co.uk