OVER a hundred smokers booked an appointment to stop smoking in Gibraltar after last month’s Stoptober campaign, the British territory’s health service said.
The number is the highest ever recorded at one time in Gibraltar after the 28-day mass quitting challenge run throughout October by the Gibraltar Health Authority.
Director of Public Health Helen Carter congratulated everyone who quit during the campaign and said their bodies would already be starting to feel the effects.
But she urged them to make it a permanent change if they wanted to avert real dangers like lung cancer.
The positive figures come after a local health expert revealed that smoking was behind 95% of the lung cancer cases on the Rock, even higher than the global proportion.
Add that to the changes in the local population’s attitude to smoking, reflected in the laws of the land, and there are more reasons than ever to quit.
It has led to a drop in the amount of people smoking locally from a third in 2012 to under a quarter in 2021.
The COVID-19 pandemic saw a lot more people quitting too as people tried to protect their lungs from the deadly effects of the coronavirus.
This has been reflected in the amount of places that are smoke-free too, with the government also banning smoking ads.
The Smoking Cessation Clinic at the Primary Care Centre now has all the tools available to kick the habit along with the medical help smokers may need to start living healthily again.
Nicotine patches and vaping are two ways medical professionals advise to help smokers come off addictive nicotine.
Carter told the quitters: “Your body will start to feel the benefits right now, so keep up the good work and quit permanently.
“Research indicates that quitting smoking for at least 28 days increases the likelihood of quitting permanently by five times.
And she said that even if smokers could not do it the first time, they always have a second chance.
“One of the finest things you can do for your health is to quit, so if you weren’t able to quit completely, I urge you to give it another attempt,” Carter added.
Gibraltar’s public health department pointed to an NHS website that has a lot of free advice for those trying to give up smoking for anyone who wants to know how they can help themselves.
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