Smokers encouraged to swop fags for gags in Stoptober campaign

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Some of the country’s top comedians have been enlisted to help smokers get through a 28 day quitting challenge.

Stoptober 2014 – a nationwide public health stop smoking challenge – is encouraging smokers in Bexhill to swap their fags for gags, to help them quit for good this October.

Top British comedians including Paddy McGuinness, Al Murray, Simon Brodkin (aka Lee Nelson, Jason Bent and Dr Bob) and Andi Osho will bring a touch of the British sense of humour to help quitters through this difficult and daunting challenge.

Stoptober launched nationally this week with a three minute TV sketch show fronted by the leading comedy line-up.

The 28 day quit challenge starts on October 1 and people who take part will be provided with a range of free tools including a new stop smoking pack, a 28-day mobile phone app, text support with daily updates, quitting advice, jokes and tips for coping, as well as the encouragement and support from thousands of people quitting together through Stoptober social media channels.

A nationwide roadshow running until Saturday, October 11, will see comedic entertainers go into communities across the country to drive more people to get involved in the campaign and share their own humorous experiences of quitting smoking or supporting others.

Smoking is still the biggest cause of preventable illness and premature deaths in the country. The estimated number of smoking related deaths in Rother each year is 206.

One in every two long term smokers will die prematurely from smoking related disease unless they quit. Two thirds of smokers say they want to quit but only four in ten told a recent survey that they have tried in the last year.

In East Sussex, the Quit51 East Sussex stop smoking service will take the campaign to various community locations throughout the county during September and October offer advice and support people taking part in the challenge.

Cynthia Lyons, East Sussex Acting Director of Public Health, said: “We know the idea of giving up smoking can be daunting, but Stoptober has proved to be a fantastic platform for people to quit.”

More information is available at: www.stoptober.smokefree.nhs.uk/registration-b or speak call: 0800 622 6968