Islanders wanting to quit smoking this year are being encouraged to use Jersey’s Stop Smoking Service, Help2Quit, for support.
Help2Quit Lead Nurse, Dr Rhona Reardon said: “With the ongoing impact of coronavirus, quitting smoking has never been more important to protect Islanders’ health.”
Coronavirus affects the respiratory system and available evidence suggests stopping smoking may help to reduce the associated risks of coronavirus. Smokers may be at increased risk if they contract coronavirus for the reasons below:
• Smoking causes damage to the lungs and airways
• Smoking harms the immune system, reducing the ability to fight against infection • Smoking involves repetitive hand-to-face movements, which increases the risk of viruses entering the body
Using a Stop Smoking Service increases the chances of quitting by up to three times compared to trying to stop unaided. Dr Rhona Reardon, Help2Quit Lead Nurse Specialist, continued: “If you delayed quitting in 2020, then why not make 2021 the year you quit? We offer a free service and have 22 local pharmacies who can offer support. For those having to isolate or shield, medication can be delivered to you.”
Dr Reardon added: “Some smokers may have delayed quitting during 2020 owing to stress related to the impact of the coronavirus on their mental health. However, stopping smoking can help reduce stress and people who quit also report feeling more in control and happier. While New Year is a time people think about making changes to their health, the Stop Smoking Service is available to Islanders all year round.”
Smokers, who want to find out more about which pharmacies offer support can visit gov.je/stopsmoking for contact details or email Help2Quit@health.gov.je, or call 0800 7351155.
Help is also available for people who need additional help in quitting for example, those with long-term physical and mental health conditions.