Clear away the fog – October is the month to quit smoking and consider your alcohol intake

Read Dr David Crichton’s latest blog – get help to stop smoking and consider cutting out alcohol in October. 

The first of this month marked the start of the national ‘Stoptober’ campaign where smokers are encouraged to seek help to quit the habit. If you manage to stop smoking for the whole month, then research shows you’re five times more likely to stop for good.

If you can make a start this month in the quest for a healthier you, then it won’t be long before you see and feel the benefits of quitting. After just a few hours in most cases you’ll start to breathe more easily, feel better, you’ll also save some money and you’ll be protecting those around you from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke.

Many of you may have heard all this before but it’s never too late to make a change and there’s plenty of support to help you. In Doncaster we have a Lung Health Check programme where GP practices are inviting people aged between 55 and 75 for a free consultation, initially over the ‘phone with a specialist nurse, and you may then be invited for a (low-dose CT) scan at our special mobile unit which has been roving around the borough since early spring and continues over the next few months. The idea is to detect and treat any problems as early as possible. Find out more about the programme here

The NHS also offers lots of advice and information on the services available to help you stop smoking. Go to Quit smoking this Stoptober – Better Health – NHS (www.nhs.uk) for all the details. And you can find out all about our smoking cessation service in Doncaster here: https://doncaster.yorkshiresmokefree.nhs.uk

If you’re still in doubt about giving up, then please read Michael’s story here for some encouragement:  My last cigarette | British Lung Foundation (blf.org.uk)

October is also the month that the Macmillan Cancer Support charity asks us to ‘Go Sober’ by giving up booze. Not only is it a time to reflect on our levels of alcohol consumption and the harm that excessive drinking can do to our health, it’s also an opportunity to raise funds for research into lifesaving cancer treatments and support for people living with the disease.

The campaign isn’t asking you to give up drinking alcohol completely, but to experience what it’s like to have a clearer head, more energy, better sleep, perhaps some weight loss and of course a sense of achievement! You can find out more here

And for people who think they may have a longer term problem with alcohol or just want some advice and information, there are local services in Doncaster including Doncaster – Aspire Drug & Alcohol Services

October is the month to consider clearing the fog and getting a new perspective on smoking and drinking that will lead to a much healthier you!

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