– “quitting online” a reality for thousands of smokers
From today (October 29, 2012), smokers can use a unique online professional support service to help them quit smoking.
The SmokeFreeLife® online support service is available via the website of QUIT®, the UK stop-smoking charity, offering advice, support, tips, background information and the world’s first online stop-smoking service to feature video chat and instant text messaging. The service also includes issuing medications and carbon monoxide monitoring for quitters.
The QUIT® website (www.quit.org.uk) can now guide users direct to the service, and advisors have been specially trained to support would-be quitters, even actively approaching those likely to be most comfortable with “quitting online”.
The first mass scale telehealth service available in the UK, SmokeFreeLife® is ideal for those find reaching traditional clinics difficult, are housebound, unable to travel, or may not have English as their first language. The innovative service offers access to a NCSCT-approved stop-smoking service by booking an appointment with an advisor, in their specific language at a time convenient to them.
Users can choose video or audio chat, text messaging or instant messaging. Further embracing innovation, the service user can engage with an advisor on multiple devices, such as PC’s, smart phones, & tablet computers.
QUIT® has partnered with leading telehealth innovator Solutions 4 Health®, to offer the online service to thousands of would-be quitters, in areas across the country where SmokeFreeLife® community-based services are operating. This includes Berkshire, Bromley, Buckinghamshire, Croydon, Lambeth and Portsmouth – where over 16,000 people have already been helped to quit smoking.
“Quitting online is a reality for smokers.” Said Leena Sankla, Solutions 4 Health’s Project Director. “This sort of support is especially valuable for smokers in otherwise hard-to-reach parts of the community, such as pregnant smokers, minority ethnic groups, routine and manual workers.”
She added, “We know that smokers are four times more likely to quit successfully when they have professional support.”
QUIT® CEO Glyn McIntosh commented, “This new service pairs the innovative access that Solutions 4 Health offers, with the wide reach and established expertise of QUIT.” said “This will have a significantly positive impact on the way we work with smokers, letting us expand our operations to a wider audience.”
“As lead partner of the European Network of Quitlines, QUIT® works closely with over 30 European telephone stop-smoking services. Its partnership with Solutions 4 Health will ensure QUIT® can support its European partners in meeting the challenges of working with a hugely diverse audience.
The news comes at the end of “Stoptober”, a month-long national campaign to help people to give up smoking, based on the fact that, if you can stop smoking for 28, days you are five times more likely to stay smoke free.
Also this month, Solutions 4 Health® extended its community-based SmokeFreeLife®services to the whole of the Berkshire NHS region.