We’re the county’s big quitters

News from the Lincs Free Press and Spalding Guardian, spaldingtoday.co.uk, @LincsFreePress on Twitter

News from the Lincs Free Press and Spalding Guardian, spaldingtoday.co.uk, @LincsFreePress on Twitter

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South Holland’s smokers are quitting the habit faster than any other part of Lincolnshire – unless they work in routine or manual jobs where dependency on cigarettes tends to be higher.

A survey of adults between April 2009 and March 2010 revealed 30.9 per cent were smokers, but that fell by more than half to 14.7 per cent between April 2011 and March 2012.

STUBBING OUT: South Holland's smokers are quitting for good.

STUBBING OUT: South Holland's smokers are quitting for good.

The only downside is that people in routine and manual jobs are sticking to their cigs, with 29.6 per cent smoking compared to an East Midlands average of 29.5.

Ros Watson, Lincolnshire County Council’s senior programme officer for tobacco control, said: “National monitoring guidance reports that people in routine and manual work are the most likely to smoke. The national guidance also states that smoking is strongly associated with social disadvantage and higher levels of addiction.

“Smokers from local communities, including routine and manual jobs, are just as likely to want to quit but can often have personal, work and environmental issues that make it harder for them to quit for good.

“This could include family and social networks where smoking is the norm, addiction and work shift patterns that make it more difficult for them to access support to quit.”

On the general levels of smoking in South Holland, Ms Watson said care had to be taken with the data as only small numbers of people were sampled.

She said: “The health of people in South Holland is average in many ways, but the level of deprivation is lower than average.

“As this is strongly linked to smoking, we would expect the number of people smoking to be lower than the Lincolnshire average (21 per cent), but it is surprising to see it is the lowest in Lincolnshire.”

Ms Watson is urging more people to quit and get help with the launch of Stoptober, the national 28-day stop smoking challenge which launches on October 1.

She said: “Stopping smoking has been proved to be the biggest single thing you can do to improve your overall health and Stoptober could be the perfect opportunity for you to quit.”

Specialist advisers from the Phoenix Stop Smoking Service, which is part of Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, are supporting Stoptober.

Stephanie Heathcote, the trust’s lead on smoking, said: “Those who achieve the 28-day Stoptober goal are five times more likely to stay smoke free.”

• Call Phoenix on 0800 8401533 to join Stoptober and get support to quit your way.