Students step up

Students step up to Stoptober challenge

Hundreds of Staffordshire students are gearing up to take part in a national challenge to dramatically improve their health.

The NHS Stop Smoking Service, based at the Stoke on Trent College, has seen a sharp rise in the number of students wanting to quit smoking and says the recent launch of “Stoptober” has been the driving force.

From Tuesday, October 1st, hundreds of learners at Stoke on Trent College will now take on the “Stoptober” challenge in a bid to kick the habit for at least 28 days.

Ahead of the challenge, students took part in Carbon Monoxide breath testing which was on offer at the campus. The testing uses a breathalyser to indicate levels of the harmful gas in which is caused by smoking.

More than 30 students signed up to the Stoptober challenge in the first hour of the free testing on offer, with over 80% of those signing up aged between 16 and 18 years.

Ruth Smith, Health Improvement Officer for the NHS Stop Smoking Service in Stoke on Trent, said

“The Stoptober campaign has been very well received by the students with lots approaching us who want to quit. Over a two-day period we have been offering free carbon monoxide testing to students to help them understand the impact of their smoking and more than 100 students took part. They have been really interested in learning about the nicotine replacement therapy we offer to help them kick the habit.”

Last year 160,000 people successfully quit smoking nationwide for Stoptober, thanks to the wide range of quitting support on offer. The campaign claims that those who successfully stop smoking for the 28 day challenge are five times more likely to quit for good.

Stoptober is a campaign by Public Health England (PHE) which is dedicated to encouraging people to quit smoking.

Student Stephen Hammond (pictured), 24, is in his first year of an Access to Health course based at the college’s Cauldon Campus. He said

“The reason I want to quit is so that I can be here for my son. I want to be healthier and have the ability to run around a lot more. I think having this service at college is very useful.”

Nineteen-year-old Kimberley Hill from Burslem, who is also on the Access to Health course, added

“I don’t think people would be inspired to stop smoking if the service wasn’t here at the college. I have smoked for the last four years and coming on this course has really opened my eyes. I generally want to be healthier, especially entering the sector that I want a career in.”

The NHS Stop Smoking Service is just one of the many support services available to students at Stoke on Trent College. To find out more about support for students visit www.stokecoll.ac.uk or call 01782 208208

Anyone wishing to find out more about Stoptober should visit www.stoptober.smokefree.nhs.uk

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