Lockdown has made people smoke more, say East End 'quit' campaigners

Campaign to stop smoking for 28 days... if you can

Campaign to stop smoking for a month and beyond - Credit: Kois Miah

Smokers are being urged to give up cigarettes for 31 days and beyond during October by the Quit Right Tower Hamlets campaign. 

The team has been out and about to explain quitting options to smokers and offering support. 

At the butt end... Mayor John Biggs (right) at Whitechapel Idea Store to launch 'quit smoking' drive

At the butt end... Mayor John Biggs (right) at Whitechapel Idea Store to launch 'quit smoking' drive - Credit: LBTH

The annual drive was launched outside Whitechapel Idea Store by Tower Hamlets public health director Dr Somen Banerjee and Mayor John Biggs. 

This year’s Stoptober is “more important than ever” say campaigners as a new nationwide survey found that nearly half of smokers have been smoking more since the first lockdown began, because of increased stress. 

Taking a 'breather' down Whitechapel... campaign to stop people smoking 

Taking a 'breather' down Whitechapel... campaign to stop people smoking - Credit: Simon Rawles

“Stopping smoking can be a huge challenge,” deputy mayor Rachel Blake acknowledged. “But there are resources available to help smokers quit.”  


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Advisors are offering free nicotine replacement therapies such as lozenges or e-cigarettes.  

The team is running weekday sessions at GP surgeries, Idea Stores and the London Muslim Centre in Whitechapel. Pharmacists and GPs are also giving out information on how to stop smoking. 

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