Joining thousands of people across the country taking part in Stoptober, partners are helping smokers to take their first step to being smokefree, knowing that if they remain smokefree for 28 days, they are more likely to successfully quit for good.

Smoking remains the biggest killer in the UK, and in Sheffield around 16 people per week die from smoking related illnesses. Across the country, Stoptober has seen around 2 million quit attempts since it began. This October, Smokefree Sheffield wants to support people to take their first step to becoming smokefree for good, building on the recent news that Sheffield has seen a decline in the number of adults smoking, from 17% in 2017 to 12.5% in 2018.

Councillor Mary Lea, Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Leisure at Sheffield City Council, said: “Stoptober is the perfect time for people to come together to support each other to stop smoking. Our partners are in a great position to help people take that first step thanks to such a comprehensive range of services available to the public.

“Through our Smokefree Sheffield website, the public can access the help they need. From the Yorkshire Smokefree Sheffield Service and Zest’s stop smoking support for under 18s, to the specialist midwifery stop smoking service at Jessop Wing. Together we have real opportunity for impact and we know you’re three times more likely to successfully quit with the help of our services.”

As part of Smokefree Sheffield, partners across the city are working together to promote Stoptober and it’s call to break up with smoking. Zest will be holding an event at Meadowhall during October half term to help young people get the advice they need to go smokefree, whilst Sheffield Housing Services staff, following training from Yorkshire Smokefree Sheffield, will be starting to speak to residents to encourage them to start their quit journeys.

Alongside this, Smokefree Sheffield and Trading Standards are launching phase two of their work to tackle cheap and illicit tobacco in the city. This focuses on the citywide impact on our communities and highlights the work of Trading Standards, including recent convictions. This includes the punishment of a seller in Page Hall, which resulted in a prison sentence and being ordered to repay over £494,296.

This initiative will launch alongside a new campaign aimed at supporting smokers to quit during their stays at Sheffield Health and Social Care Trust’s acute mental health wards.

The smokefree partnership work across the city has also recently seen Sheffield Hallam University become Smokefree in time for Stoptober. Students, employees and visitors at the University sites will no longer be allowed to smoke anywhere on the premises and will be encouraged to get support in their quit journeys, coinciding with the launch of Stoptober.

Greg Fell, Director of Public Health at Sheffield City Council said: “We believe through our collective approach to address smoking we have the right mix of interventions. The recent publication of smoking prevalence stats backs this up. We have seen a significant decline in the number of people smoking in Sheffield. However there is still a lot do to achieve a smokefree city by 2025.”

“We encourage all smokers to break up with smoking this October and access the fantastic support we have available, there are various options of support to help you be successful face to face, over the phone, online. Give it a go, get others involved too friends, neighbours, work colleagues family members, quitting together makes it easier.”

Smokefree Sheffield brings the city’s tobacco control board partners and local services together under one umbrella and has been set up to help smokers, non-smokers, quitters and the whole community work towards as future without tobacco.

To find out more about Smokefree Sheffield and Stoptober, including advice and support to quit visit www.smokefreesheffield.org.