Nearly nine out of ten smokers in South Leeds want to quit, but factors such as stress are making it difficult for them to do so, a new NHS survey shows.
NHS Leeds South and East Clinical Commissioning Group, which has the highest rates of smoking in the city, commissioned Leeds Beckett University’s Centre for Health Promotion Research to find out how smokers could be helped to stop.
It found that 86% of smokers wanted to quit and knew it was bad for their health and their family’s health as well as costing them money. When it came to quitting, many said they couldn’t because of stress.
A quarter of people in South and East Leeds are smokers, and in some inner city areas, such as Middleton and Burmantofts, the rate is as high as 34%. Smoking remains the biggest cause of premature death in the area.
Successful quitters said that the Leeds Stop Smoking Service was effective in helping them to quit, but others didn’t always know the service was easily accessible and could help them.
Andy Harris, Clinical Chief Officer from NHS Leeds South and East Clinical Commissioning Group says:
“We know that smoking is the biggest single issue contributing to health problems and lower life expectancy in our local communities.
“Helping people to quit is a huge challenge, and we are working with Leeds NHS Stop Smoking Service to find ways we can encourage more people to get in touch, and to support the service they offer. In the new year we will be launching a campaign to make sure local people know what support is available, but I would encourage anyone thinking about it to contact the service, see how they can help and start taking the first positive step.”
Leeds NHS Stop Smoking Service is a free service open to anyone who would like to stop smoking and has a proven track record in helping smokers to quit – smokers are four times more likely to quit with support from the service than by willpower alone. The service runs more 40 clinics across Leeds and offers group, one-to-one and drop-in sessions as well as telephone support. Support includes guidance on dealing with issues such as stress, and overall health and wellbeing.