Slough Borough Council supports campaign for smokers to quit today

Alert message sent 29/07/2020 20:48:00

Information sent on behalf of Slough Council

Slough Borough Council is supporting a new advertising campaign ‘Today is the Day’, which encourages smokers to quit today, as thousands of smokers report quitting across the South East.
The new campaign launched by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) features a heartfelt plea from respiratory doctor Ruth Sharrock for smokers to quit today to protect themselves from smoking related diseases and increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Smoking is the largest cause of preventable death in the borough responsible for over 141 deaths a year [1] and every year a further 365 children take up smoking in Slough. [2]
Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, 136,006 smokers in the South East have quit smoking, according to new analysis by ASH and University College London. [3].
Dr Sayra Baig, a GP at Manor Park Medical Centre, Slough said: “The coronavirus pandemic has made us all conscious of the need to protect ourselves, our families and loved ones. If you smoke, now is the time to quit to keep yourself healthy and out of hospital. In my role I see the harms of smoking every day, but it’s never too late to quit and experience health benefits, even if you are already unwell. Quitting smoking is the best thing smokers can do to improve their health so I’m proud to be supporting the Today is the Day campaign.”
The Today is the Day campaign has been funded by the Department of Health and Social Care, and will be directing smokers to effective forms of support to quit on the NHS Smokefree website. The campaign builds on successful campaigns in the North East and Greater Manchester and will target smokers across the South East through a combination of radio, digital audio and online adverts.
Dr Liz Brutus, Service Lead for Public Health in Slough said: “We want to encourage all smokers to give quitting a go, especially during this pandemic. Quitting smoking can rapidly reduce your risk of a range of life threatening illnesses and our dedicated local stop smoking service, Health and Wellbeing Slough can help support you through your quit attempt with expert advice and medications to deal with cravings.”
To access FREE support to quit smoking in Slough, contact Health and Wellbeing Slough on 0800 0614734 or online at
Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of ASH said: “Over 136,006 smokers have succeeded in stopping smoking in the South East region since COVID-19 hit us, but that still leaves many thousands more smokers who have not. This campaign is designed to encourage those who’ve not yet succeeded; to wake up and decide today is the day to stop smoking.”
See the radio and digital audio advert here:
[1] Public Health England. Local Tobacco Control Profiles: Smoking related mortality. [Online]. Accessed 8 July 2020. 
[2] Methodology: Calculated by the Cancer Intelligence Team at Cancer Research UK, December 2019, using Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use in Young People in England 2016 and 2018 data Figures represent the average number of children per year between 2016 and 2018. Percentage of new smokers was calculated for each single-year age band, and 'smoker' was defined as 'regular', 'occasional' or 'used to smoke'. For example, percentage of new smokers aged 13 in 2018, was calculated by subtracting the percentage of smokers aged 12 in 2017, from the percentage of smokers aged 13 in 2018. This calculation was used for ages 12, 13, 14 and 15; for age 11 all smokers were considered new smokers. 2017 figures were estimated as the average of 2016 and 2018, as no 2017 survey was carried out. Percentage of new smokers in England was applied to UK population estimates to obtain the number of new UK smokers. The 2014-18 trend in estimated number of new child smokers in the UK each year was projected forward to obtain estimates for 2019-21. Breakdown to local level carried out by academics from Imperial College London.
[3] The survey was conducted between 15th April and 20th June 2020. It was an online survey using the YouGov panel with 10251 respondents. For more information on the YouGov Covid Tracker see:  Additional analysis was undertaken by Action on Smoking and Health and University College London using ONS population data mid year 2019 estimates.
Message sent by
Kate Pratt (Slough Council, Communications Manager, Slough)

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