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Data from the University College London reveals state of smoking in Kent and Medway

By Ellis Stephenson

Some 65% of smokers from Kent who attended drop-in clinics managed to quit smoking, according to a report out today.

University College London also found 58% of people in Medway were able to stop once they had contacted telephone support services.

Smokers across the area are being urged to join the ranks of ex-smokers by taking part in Stoptober – the mass quitting challenge from Public Health England starting on October 1.

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65% of smokers in Kent who attended drop-in sessions managed to stop smoking
65% of smokers in Kent who attended drop-in sessions managed to stop smoking

Smoking rates across Kent and Medway have fallen by more than 5% since 2012.

In Kent just 15.2% of the adult population in Kent now smokes.

And in Medway the number of smokers is also less than one-in-five at just 19%.

Tobacco lead for Public Health England South East, Jason Mahoney, said: "Stoptober is a perfect time for smokers to try and give up smoking – however many times they may have tried in the past.

"The annual campaign provides the perfect opportunity for family, friends and colleagues to work together towards quitting smoking for good.

"Now more than ever before there are a host of quit smoking aids and free support services available.

"I would encourage anyone thinking of quitting to make a plan and take part in Stoptober.

"Evidence shows you are more likely to quit with support from a local stop smoking service than of you try to go it alone.

"Quitting really is the best thing a smoker can do for their health and by committing to quit you will join thousands of smokers across the South East this Stoptober who want to make a positive change to their health."

Tobacco remains the number one killer in England and a chief cause of long-term poor health with one in four hospital beds occupied by a smoker.

In 2015/16 smoking attributable hospital admissions in Kent accounted for 12,447 people and 2,159 in Medway.

It comes as the TV adverts for the Stoptober smoking campaign will feature e-cigarettes for the first time.

The fall in the number of people smoking has been put down to plain packaging, tougher restrictions and the rise in popularity for e-cigarettes.

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