A FREE, clinically proven intervention to help people quit smoking is being piloted by Westmorland and Furness Council.
The council is trialing the innovative, drug-free Allen Carr’s Easyway method as part of their ambition to make their entire council area “smoke-free” by 2030.
To achieve smoke-free status, the council needs to reduce smoking prevalence to 5% of the population (the rate required to achieve “smoke-free” status) down from the current 11.1%.
This will mean reducing the current figure of approximately 20,000 smokers in Westmorland and Furness (11.1% of the adult population) by half – if nobody else takes up the habit during this time.
Only people living in the Barrow-in-Furness area (LA13, LA14, LA15 & LA16 only) will be able to access the pilot for free. It will only be available for 12 months and with limited spaces available, smokers wanting to quit are being urged to book their slot soon.
Barrow-in-Furness has been chosen to host the pilot as the area has significantly higher rates of smoking (19%) compared to the South Lakeland (10%) and Eden (8%) areas according to the latest ONS (Office for National Statistics) data.
Allen Carr’s Easyway to Stop Smoking Method (ACE) is a cognitive behavioural therapy and the live group seminars are endorsed by NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Published studies have shown that ACE can help 1 in 2 smokers kick the habit long-term and has already helped an estimated 50 million people quit smoking over the last 40 years. The evidence base supporting the method is compelling.
The treatment is quick too. Usually taking only four and a half hours via an Online Video Programme and five hours via Live Group Seminars. Shorter backup sessions, telephone support, and email support are provided for the minority who require them. It can also be accessed easily via smartphones, tablets, or laptops so no-one needs to leave their home.
Cllr Patricia Bell, Deputy Leader of Westmorland and Furness Council and Cabinet Member for Public Health, said: “Our “Smoke Free by 2030” ambitions are a real priority for the council. If we can achieve our aims, we’ll have helped to improve the general health of the population significantly whilst reducing pressure on the NHS.
“This pilot is an exciting opportunity to trial an innovative and clinically proven intervention programme in our area.
“I’d urge all smokers living in the Barrow-in-Furness area to book a slot on the programme and give it a go. After the pilot has ended, we’ll conduct a thorough evaluation and decide how we move forward with our smoking cessation offer in Westmorland and Furness.”
Smoking remains the biggest cause of ill-health and death in the UK and increases the risk of developing serious health conditions. Smoking is also a major contributing factor to health inequalities.
To find out more about Allen Carr’s Easyway (ACE) and how to book a slot, please visit the Easyway website.