Council encourages smokers to quit this Stoptober

stoptober, stop smoking, october

This Stoptober Newham Council is urging smokers to quit through its free support and advice service and feel the immediate health benefits.

While the number of adult smokers totalling almost 40,000 in the borough is declining, 13.8 per cent still smoke, with double the number of male smokers compared to women.  During the pandemic, 45% of smokers said they smoked more due to stress and boredom, while more under 35s took up the habit, a survey for Public Health England says.

The annual Stoptober campaign now in its 10th year, challenges people to give up smoking for 28 days, making them five times more likely to quit for good, according to research.

People who stop smoking feel early health benefits as circulation, sense of taste and smell is improved and heart disease halve after a year.

The Council’s free stop smoking service has helped residents like Newham mother, Alexandra Szarka 68, and daughter, Anna, 36 to stop. Anna said: “My mother started smoking 50 years ago. We decided to quit together and used e-cigarettes. It was a big thing to stop and we are very happy. My mum feels like a bird free and independent now.”

Newham resident Lynne Taylor, said: “The service helped me to quit smoking. I was using the vape which was very helpful. I don’t cough anymore in the morning and my wheezing has stopped.”

Councillor Zulfiqar Ali, the Lead Member for Adult Health and Social Care said: “Smokers are more likely to be vulnerable to Coronavirus and the flu, so there’s never been a better time to contact our free service and stop smoking to protect their health and wellbeing.

“Our free stop smoking service can offer people friendly expert advice and support in quitting, so I would urge smokers to join the thousands giving up this Stoptober and feel the health benefits.”

Stop smoking stalls will be at Meridian Square, Stratford 1 October 10am-4pm, Canning Town Library, 5 October 10am-2pm, Newham General Hospital (Atrium Hall) 6 October, 10.30am-4pm, Custom House Library on 7 October 10am-2pm, near the library on East Ham High Street 15 October, 10am-4pm, and Queen’s Market 29 October, 11am-4pm.

The Quit Well Newham free 12-week programme provides expert advice and support in either group or one-to-one settings, along with nicotine replacement treatment. It also offers culturally sensitive advice to help people quit shisha and smokeless tobacco such as tobacco in Paan or Ghutka.

For more information contact the Council’s Quit Well Newham service on 020 7882 8230 Monday to Friday 8.30am-5.30pm, mobile 0747 4082330 for text, calls and WhatsApp, or visit

Quit Well Newham will also be running virtual training to frontline workers in Newham, including those working for voluntary, community and faith sector organisations. For more information and to book your place visit

Published: 30 Sep 2021