SMOKERS across the region are taking part in the first ever nationwide mass quit attempt.
The Stoptober campaign is encouraging Lincolnshire's smokers to join in the 28-day quit programme, which started on October 1.
In Lincolnshire, the campaign is being supported by the Phoenix Stop Smoking Service, NHS Lincolnshire and Lincolnshire County Council.
Those who achieve the 28-day goal are five times more likely to stay smokefree. As well as the financial benefits of stopping smoking, those quitting will experience physical improvements including a better sense of smell and taste and more energy.
Longer term, those who stop smoking reduce their risk of heart disease and lung cancer as well as protecting others from their secondhand smoke.
Smoking is one of the biggest causes of premature death and each year it accounts for more than 100,000 deaths in the UK. One in two long-term smokers will die prematurely from a smoking disease.
Lincolnshire's smokers are being encouraged to take advantage of the specialist support and advice available through the Phoenix Stop Smoking Service, which is part of Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS).
Stephanie Heathcote, Smoking Cessation Lead at LCHS, said: "The Phoenix Stop Smoking Service works closely with other healthcare professionals, including GPs and pharmacies to give smokers the support they need to quit.
"The service is non-judgemental and offers free appointments to fit around individual need, including late evenings, Saturday and also a telephone service.
"It's never too late to stop smoking and taking part in Stoptober is a great way to motivate yourself and others across the country."
A preparation pack for those taking part in Stoptober is available through the national Stoptober website and from four Phoenix Health Shops in Skegness, Boston, Lincoln and Gainsborough.
Smokers will also receive support and encouragement through a daily messaging service, inspiration from celebrity mentors, and expert advice via a Stoptober app (available via Smartphone), motivational text messages and the Stoptober Facebook page.
Ros Watson, Co-ordinator at the county council-led Lincs Smokefree Alliance, added: "This is the month that could change – and even save – lives, and not just smokers themselves but their families too. Whilst we prepare a consultation to launch Lincolnshire's five-year Tobacco Control Plan to reduce smoking prevalence, Stoptober is simply about individuals taking that control and starting the journey to quitting themselves.
We encourage everyone to get involved, be it supporting a loved one or displaying posters in your business. It would great if Lincolnshire led the way from Stoptober into Movember with cigarettes replaced by moustaches!"
For more information and to join the biggest stop smoking challenge of its kind, visit smokefree.nhs.uk/Stoptober or call the Phoenix Stop Smoking Service on 0800 840 1533.