Smokers in Eastbourne are being urged to join a month-long stop smoking challenge which could add years to their life.
Health chiefs in the county are backing Stoptober, which encourages people to lay off the cigarettes for 28 days, offering them a range of support to beat their habit.
More than 80,000 people in East Sussex smoke – with just short of 17,000 people in Eastbourne making up that figure - and there are more than 1,000 smoking-related deaths recorded in the county last year.
Smokers who quit for a month are five times more likely to stay smoke-free, and research from Public Health England shows smokers who quit during Stoptober and don’t smoke again could gain an extra seven days of life, every 28 days, for the rest of their life.
Cynthia Lyons, East Sussex acting director of public health, said, “Although levels of smoking continue to fall, it is still the biggest cause of premature death across the country and one in two long-term smokers die as a result of smoking.
“Although everyone knows the risks, quitting is not easy. However, stopping for 28 days is an achievable goal, and people who meet the Stoptober challenge are far more likely to quit smoking for good.
“Life is precious and many people who quit smoking now can potentially add years to their life.
“We encourage all smokers in East Sussex to give it a try - the help and support they receive during Stoptober, and the knowledge they’re one of thousands of people taking part could be the impetus they need to stop smoking for good.”
Around 160,000 people across the country completed last year’s Stoptober challenge.
To coincide with Stoptober, the county Stop Smoking service is holding an event at the DGH on October 10.
• For more information visit the website: www.stoptober.smokefree.nhs.uk