Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust calls on smokers in 2021 to join the thousands who quit in 2020
For smokers 2020 was a great year to quit. It has been estimated that a million people nationally had quit during the first lock down and hundreds of thousands have maintained that success, with 2020 having the highest rates of successful quitting on record.
Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trusts YOURhealth service are sharing a powerful new film which tells the stories of those who made a successful quitting journey in this turbulent year and call on others to “put it down, put it out”. The film was commissioned by Southend Borough Council but made available for Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust to use locally. It is the work of spoken word artist Megan Cannon. When the council approached her about the project she was not immediately enthusiastic: “smoking cessation just didn’t sound very interesting”. But she found the stories of people who had used council’s stop smoking service inspiring:
“We asked people who’d quit using the stop smoking services loads of questions and their responses were so powerful and full of emotion. I couldn’t wait to put the stories together and create this piece, which I hope can inspire others to give up smoking too.”
It’s been estimated by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) using data from the YouGov Covid-19 Tracker that 93,000 people in Yorkshire and The Humber quit smoking during the first lockdown. Analysis of smokers behaviour across 2020 by researchers at University College London found that among people who tried to quit smoking in 2020 success rate was the highest they’d ever seen, something they put down to the unique circumstances of 2020.
Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust are supporting local residents as well as their own employees. An employee of Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust was one of those success stories joining the thousands in the region who have quit:
‘After a pretty horrendous year full of devastating news, changes to work life during the pandemic and the addition of Lockdowns, I began to smoke after successfully quitting the year before. This was kept from my family and I quickly began to chain smoke as I felt this helped me manage a tough year.
I eventually had a wakeup call and realised I was not managing my emotional wellbeing by smoking – I was in fact hiding it. I approached YOURhealth and asked for more support again, I was instantly booked in for appointments and began with NRT therapy.
What also happened during my appointments was we discussed alternative techniques to managing the stressors I was faced with. I started to ensure I took time out of the house and began walking again (something I had stopped doing), I was finding other things to do such as preparing healthy meals, knitting and learning the guitar.
I feel so much healthier now, the walks are getting easier and longer and I feel great. I could not have got through the smoking journey without support from Kayleigh and I will be forever grateful for this. It’s ok not to be ok, don’t be alone – support is there.’