15:47 25 May 2021

The Redbridge Stop Smoking Service has joined a worldwide campaign to help people kick off their habit once and for all.

The service, run by Everyone Health, supports World No Tobacco Day on May 31 and the Commit to Quit campaign, which aims to support 100 million people around the world to help them kick the butt.

The district’s smoking cessation service, in use by the council in July 2019, offers a free six-week support program to help smokers who live, work or study in Redbridge and are ready to give up.

Since hitting Covid-19, all face-to-face sessions have been transferred to telephonic and virtual support and the service has not been able to execute its normal outreach program.

Despite this, it managed to recruit and help 624 smokers between April 2020 and March this year.

Nearly half of the people registered with the service managed to quit smoking.

Through the service, people are given counseling and support to help change their behavior, including nicotine replacement products.

In some cases, people are offered medications like Champix or Zyban to help them quit.

Aaron Bohannon, head of tobacco control at Everyone Health, said: “The benefits of quitting tobacco are enormous and almost immediate.

“After only 20 minutes of stopping smoking, your heart rate drops and the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal within 12 hours.

“Quitting smoking will reduce your risk of stroke within five to 15 years, lung cancer and heart disease within 15 years.”

A retired Redbridge resident named David, who just wanted to use his first name, was a smoker all his adult life and was referred to the service after visiting a lung health clinic.

He tried to stop several times in the past, but it never got stuck; after receiving Champix medication, he was finally able to give up.

Once he managed to stop, his wife decided to give it a try as well and was supported by the same practitioner.

Aaron added: “We know that smokers who get support are four times more likely to quit for good than those who do not.”

To find out more or to refer yourself, call 0333 005 0095, SMS QUIT to 60777 or sign up via