It’s not too late to ‘Stoptober’

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By Helen Kehoe  @Helsbels88
Joint Appointment lecturer in Mental Health and Practice Development lead, My Care Academy.

We are halfway through this year’s Stoptober. This effective campaign is in its 7th year and the success has been huge. It’s not too late to join in, don’t let starting later in the month put you off!

According to Public Health England if you stop smoking for 28 days you are five times more likely to stop for good. Last year marked the highest quit smoking success rates on record. UCL reported that quitting success was up to 19.8% compared to an average of 15.7% over the last 10yrs.

It has been reported by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and other key sources that ‘smoking makes a major contribution to early death and disease among people with a mental health condition with rates of smoking much higher than the general population’.


What’s happening within our partnership to support service users and staff?

Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust have always taken an active role in promoting the Stoptober campaign and supporting patients to eradicate or reduce their addiction. Throughout the Trust great work has been ongoing running alongside ‘Stoptober’. Physical health leads for the Trust have been running smoking cessation clinics at St Ann’s hospital. They have linked their work with the ‘One You’ campaign which helps people make better choices to become healthier.

The North London Forensic Service (NLFS) in BEH-MHT is another great example of best practice for maintaining the importance of physical health within a mental health care setting. The NLFS offers a range of support for their patients to aid their ability to kick their smoking habit. Health promotion slides were made and displayed around the wards and office areas promoting the support available to patients in the Trust and the Stoptober campaign. Smoking cessation groups are run regularly through their recovery college with an additional one to one support if requested.

Fantastic help and support is also available within Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust. The stop smoking service Breath has already had great results, ‘Ten percent of service users in Camden and Islington, who have psychosis and who are involved in the initiative, no longer smoke thanks to the support received’.

Breath is a free service available to all smokers within Camden and Islington including all service users and staff. They offer telephone support, Nicotine replacement therapy (which can be posted to your home address) and face to face appointments. For ease, you can book appointments online or attend their regular clinics.


If you have thought about wanting to stop smoking but unsure how or who to go to for support, then a good place to start is by using the very user-friendly ‘One You’ website. After 3 easy questions, a plan is devised on how and where to seek support.

Remember, you don’t need to wait for a particular date or month to start thinking about stopping smoking. It’s never too late to start, don’t quit quitting!

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