Nearly a fifth of Thanet’s mums are smoking during pregnancy, a figure significantly higher than the national average.
New statistics from Public Health England show 18% of pregnant women are lighting up on the Isle compared to 13% in England.
Although smoking is the UK’s single biggest killer, in Thanet more than 21% of the population are smokers.
Give up smoking for Stoptober
Research shows that smokers can live longer by quitting. One way to start stopping is to join this year’s giant 28-day Stoptober event which is under way nationwide.
Experts say that if a smoker quits in October and does not smoke again, they could gain an extra seven days of life every 28 days for the rest of their live.
A person who stops smoking for 28 days is five times more likely to stay smoke-free.
Quitting can save the average smoker almost £2,000 a year. During last year’s Stoptober campaign, an estimated £25 million was saved by 160,000 people who stopped buying cigarettes.
Dr John Neden, clinical lead for long-term conditions for NHS Thanet Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “The vast majority of smokers want to quit, but they find the obstacles difficult to overcome.
“However, by quitting smoking, many people discover a new-found sense of confidence and a real sense of achievement. That’s why we’re very supportive of initiatives such as Stoptober. If anyone is thinking of quitting, now is a great time.”
The Stop Smoking Team from Kent Community Health NHS Trust has launched additional Monster Quit Clubs to cope with the expected demand following the launch of a series of TV adverts. One is at Hartsdown Leisure Centre, Margate. Your GP can refer you to the free seven-week programme.
Graham Thomas from the Stop Smoking Team said: “We know quitting is tough but no one has to go it alone. Monster Quit Clubs have the added bonus of quitting alongside others who want to give up. It is a friendly and supportive environment and we are there for you every step of the way.”
Book a place by contacting your GP or call free on 0800 849 4444 or text QUIT to 87023.