Stop smoking advisors were on hand at the Royal London Hospital yesterday (Thursday 20 September) to launch the national Stoptober campaign.

Joined by John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Ian Basnett, Associate Director for Public Health at Barts Health NHS Trust and Chris Lovitt, Associate Director for Public Health at the council, advisors were engaging residents to take part and stop smoking with thousands of others across the UK.

The national campaign encourages smokers across the UK to stop smoking for 28 days, based on research that smokers are five times more likely to stay smoke free if they successfully make it through the first four weeks.

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets Council said:“Quitting tobacco is one of the best things you can do for your health as it is still the number one cause of preventable death across the UK.

“Local stop smoking advisors are always available and I would encourage residents to access these services particularly over October, as they can provide advice and support on quitting options.”

Last year, local services saw 282 Tower Hamlets residents’ sign up to Stoptober with 108 quitting smoking with help from local services.

Come along to a drop-in session for free, friendly advice from local stop smokng service Quit Right Tower Hamlets on your quitting options:

There are more drop in sessions throughout the month of October.

This year, Quit Right are offering free and discounted vape kits for those who sign up to quit for the month of October, as more people turn to e-cigarettes as an aid to help them stop smoking.

Following a review by Public Health England there is now clear evidence that e-cigs are 95 per cent less harmful than smoking and of small risk to bystanders.

An electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) is a device that allows you to inhale nicotine without most of the harmful effects of smoking.

E-cigarettes work by heating and creating a vapour from a solution that typically contains nicotine; a thick, colourless liquid called propylene glycol and/or glycerine; and flavourings. As there is no burning involved, there is no smoke.

Cllr Denise Jones, lead member for health, adults and community said: “There is evidence that e-cigarettes can help people stop smoking.

“However, using an e-cigarette to help you quit, along with advice and support from a local stop smoking advisor, will give you the best chance of success.”

Whether you want to use Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) such as patches, chewing gum, lozenges or e-cigarettes, you can access support in the following ways:

Evening and Saturday appointments are available or you can go to your local pharmacy or GP for advice.

The London-wide helpline on 0300 123 1044 can be accessed at a local rate number seven days a week – Monday to Fridays from 9am to 8pm and on Saturday and Sunday between 11am and 4pm.

You can also visit the Tower Hamlets Stop Smoking Portal to access behavioral support and Nicotine Replacement Therapies to help you quit smoking the type of support you want, closest to you.