Smokefree Sefton – Your new stop smoking service

Solutions 4 Health has been appointed by the Local Authority to provide stop smoking services across the city for the next 3 years, starting on April 1st 2017. The new service will be called Smokefree Sefton.

Solutions 4 Health is a leading national provider of smoking cessation, already operating stop smoking services for some thirty councils, including Berkshire, County Durham, North Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Blackpool and North Yorkshire with recent awards including Liverpool and Devon, and helps over 30,000 smokers to quit each year.

The successful model to be deployed in Sefton is based upon a combination of outreach to priority groups in their community and workplace with partnership working within the health economy, so a full range of services are made available, making it as easy to quit as to smoke.

Leena Sankla, Public Health and Lifestyle Services Director for Solutions 4 Health adds: “We take a very positive approach and are all about reducing health inequalities through supporting and empowering people to improve their health and wellbeing. After all, smokers are four times more likely to quit successfully when they have professional support.”

Both the Local Authority and Solutions 4 Health believe that smoking cessation is everyone’s business and see this development as a major step in the goal of making Sefton ‘smokefree’. Solutions 4 Health will be working closely with all of you to ensure that staff receive relevant training and that there are seamless referral processes in place so that smokers can rapidly receive our help and support.

Councillor Ian Moncur, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, Sefton Council said “The new Specialist Stop Smoking service will help residents in Sefton achieve a smoke free life. The service will encourage individuals to change their behaviour and attitudes toward smoking, making quitting for good more achievable.”

Smoking, Stress & Mental Health

Debunking the misconceptions between Smoking & Stress

4th February marks ‘Time To Talk’ Day 2016.  A national initiative that hopes to tackle the stigma around mental health, and end the misconceptions around it.

1 in 4 of us live with mental health conditions in the UK, with some sufferers using smoking as a self medication to cope with times of anxiety. In fact, most smokers of all backgrounds tend to think of their habit as a “stress relief”.

But according to NHS Choices, the idea that cigarettes relieve stress is a complete myth. And smokers are actually more likely to develop mental health issues, like depression or anxiety disorders, than non-smokers.

So why would anyone falsely believe smoking improves their mood?

Scientists think it’s because smokers confuse the ability of cigarettes to abolish nicotine withdrawal as a beneficial effect on their mental health.

Smokers tend to feel irritable, anxious and down when they haven’t smoked for a while and these unpleasant feelings are temporarily reversed when they light up a cigarette. That creates the impression that the cigarette that has improved their mood, when in fact it’s just temporary relief from psychological disturbances that were caused by smoking in the first place.

Studies show that people’s anxiety, depression and stress levels are lower after they stop smoking when compared with those who carry on smoking and that their quality of life and mood improves. Also, the improved levels of oxygen in the body means that ex-smokers can concentrate better.

Sefton SUPPORT are encouraging local smokers to begin the fight against mental health conditions by quitting smoking.

Sefton SUPPORT are the local NHS Stop Smoking Service and have helped thousands of people to quit and live longer healthier lives. Their drop-in clinics run across the borough 6 days a week, and offer a chance for smokers to get specialist NHS support to quit. To find your local clinic here at the Healthy Sefton website, or call Healthy Sefton on 0300 100 1000.

Follow Sefton Support on Twitter by clicking here, and Facebook by clicking here.

You can join the conversation on Time To Talk  by searching the hashtag #TimeToTalk on Twitter and Facebook.