ROTHERHAM has the lowest rate of smoking in all of South Yorkshire and the highest rate of quitters, according to new figures.
The results of a new Public Health England surevy show that 25 per cent of smokers in the borough have kicked the habit since 2012.
Just 16.2 per cent of adult residents smoke, while 3.4 per cent of quitters remain smoke-free four weeks later — the highest rate in the county.
The survey found that those in routine or manual occupations were 1.6 times more likely to smoke than those in other occupations, less than the English average of 2.4 times.
Rotherham Borough Council and Parkwood Health Care launched new stop-smoking services in September, through the Get Healthy Rotherham initiative.
Quitters can access face-to-face, phone and online help, with tailored support from Get Healthy coaches.
The service also offers free stop-smoking medicines including nicotine replacement therapies.
Chris Johnson (34), from East Dene, quit earlier this year. He said: “I’d decided I’d had enough.
“I wanted to stop smoking as I was fed up of waking up every morning coughing, ending up with a chest infection every six months.
“I’m so pleased I’ve had the support from Get Healthy Rotherham.
“As well as free nicotine patches and gum to help me quit, my advisor Angela was always there to give advice and encouragement at our weekly appointments. I’ve now been quit for over two months.”
He added: “I’m no longer coughing every morning, I feel more energetic, my skin and teeth look better and when I go out I’m no longer worrying where I can go to have a cigarette break.
“If you want to stop smoking, my advice is just go for it, there’s nothing to lose and everything to gain.”
Quitters see quick results — taste and smell improve and heart disease risk halves within a year.
Cllr David Roche, cabinet member for health and chair of the Rotherham Tobacco Alliance, said: “I am pleased to see the trend in the number of smokers in Rotherham declining and the number of quitters increasing.
“This number demonstrates that giving up the habit is achievable, with plenty of options available to support quitters.
“This is great in helping work towards making Rotherham more smoke-free, and achieving the targets set out by the Government.”
For further information or to book an appointment with Get Healthy Rotherham, visit www.gethealthyrotherham.co.uk or call 01709 718720.
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