The local NHS specialist stop smoking service has been helping workers at Swinton in Halifax to kick the habit as part of an eight week stop smoking in the workplace exercise.
The specialist stop smoking service, which is provided by the South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, provides support to members of the public and businesses to help people give up smoking for good.
Following the death of a colleague Swinton staff were faced with the realisation that smoking was increasing their risk of heart related diseases. The company made a commitment to providing a stop smoking service for staff and a promise that for each person who successfully quit the company would donate £20 to the British Heart Foundation.
After linking up with the specialist Stop Smoking team, which is part of the health improvement service in Calderdale, workers at Swinton were able to attend the free service, which provided help and support for smokers who were choosing to go smokefree.
With smoking being the UK’s leading cause of preventable deaths, resulting in around 100,000 deaths a year, going smokefree is the single most effective way you can improve your health.
Speaking about the group specialist stop smoking advisor Jan Spence said, "The body has an amazing ability to heal itself. The minute you stop smoking every organ starts repairing damage and the risk of serious illness is reduced, so it’s never too late to stop. If you smoke around friends and family or colleagues at work, you could also be affecting their health too through ‘passive smoking’."
Swinton provided flexible working so that staff could attend the one hour sessions in the workplace where they were able to access practical advice and the right medication to help them stop smoking in just eight weeks, and stay stopped.
Of the 16 people who started the group 11 (69%) have successfully quit following the support of the Stop Smoking service and now class themselves as non-smokers.
Simon Notton, who smoked for 18 years has been able to quit and is feeling fantastic. He said, "I am no longer someone who’s quitting smoking but am a non-smoker. As a result of the group I feel great and the domino effect is already taking hold. My partner is looking to stop smoking and hopefully her workplace will invite the stop smoking team along to help."
Jan added, "Research shows people are four times more likely to succeed with professional support than willpower alone. We can provide motivation and the right help to get someone on the right track to giving up smoking for good and the staff at Swinton are a great example of what can be achieved if you work together to spur each other on."
Sonya Homewood, head of the Halifax call centre, said, "This initiative is great because my staff felt like they could work together as a team to quit smoking. They had brilliant access to practical advice and support throughout the programme and following the success of the first group we already have more people signing up for the next course which starts in September."
If you are an employer in Calderdale, and would like to know more about this free service, contact the specialist stop smoking service on 01422 281505.