Exercise can help in battle to give up smoking
LATEST figures, from Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), have revealed that Plymouth has an average of around 48,566 smokers who collectively spend over £1m buying tobacco every week.
We experience 600 avoidable, early deaths every year from smoking related disease and although Plymouth was one of the first cities to set up a free NHS Stop Smoking Service some 14 years ago, in 1999, smoking prevalence remains higher in Plymouth than the England average.
But health professionals are working hard to tackle the city's single biggest cause of premature death and disease and are now promoting exercise as a way of helping people to kick the deadly habit.
Professor Adrian Taylor, from the University of Exeter, has been working with Plymouth's Stop Smoking Service since 2007.
Comprising Lounge,Kitchen,Dining Room,Utility Room,2nd,3rd & 4th Bedrooms,Master Bedroom With En-Suite,Bathroom,Gardens,Garage & Driveway.CT Band E.EPC Band D.Av.12/07/13 For 6 Mths & Ongoing.
Terms: ***NB: Please be advised that charges are applicable per application and subject to contract. No additional charges are required for the Tenancy Agreement or Inventory unless stated otherwise.***
Contact: 01752 421825
Valid until: Thursday, August 01 2013
He recently carried out a study with 99 residents from Stonehouse and Devonport looking at how physical activity can be used to help those wanting to cut down on the amount of cigarettes they smoke.
He said: "Although the study wasn't with people who wanted to quit smoking, just cut down, what we found was that over eight weeks 22 per cent of those who were receiving support from the service attempted to quit, compared to only 6 per cent of those who weren't receiving support.
"Some of those people involved in the study increased their physical activity more than others and some found it to be very useful.
"Not every smoker can see the relevance of physical activity in trying to quit, but certainly for some people it helps prevent weight gain, acts as a distraction, and also helps that person reinvent themselves as a non-smoker and get away from their old smoker identity.
"A lot of health services are now looking at physical activity as an aid to stopping smoking.
"But it's not a simple case of just sending people to the gym and hoping for the best. We need to promote it as something that is specifically useful, in the same way nicotine replacement therapy is useful. It's all about getting people to think about how physical activity can help them to quit."
And Russ Moody, senior public health manager for tobacco control at Public Health Plymouth, said exercise is only going to become more apparent as a useful quit tool as the research unfolds.
He said: "There is an emergence of evidence which shows us that the link between people who exercise and are successful in quitting is becoming stronger and stronger.
"Exercise makes people feel better, helps reduce withdrawal symptoms and helps people deal with stress – all things people tend to experience when they try to quit.
"We are promoting exercise in the Stop Smoking Service more and more as a way to help people quit and will continue to do so."