Leicestershire County Council’s ‘stop smoking’ service is to expand thanks to funding boost

Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 4 November 2023

A POPULAR ‘stop smoking’ service operated by Leicestershire County Council which has helped over 11,000 residents nip their nicotine habits in the bud is to expand.

A stock image of a cigarette being put out (Image: Copyright Unknown)

The plans to expand the ‘Quit Ready’ service is being made a reality thanks to extra funding of £660,000 being secured by the Government.

This will double the authority’s budget and help ‘ramp up support’ to stop smoking, and target their key groups, with one of these mainly being vaping in young people.

Quit Ready is a free and confidential 12-week-long programme which aims to help residents become – and stay – smoke-free.

Coun. Louise Richardson, the county council’s cabinet member for health, said: “The latest figures are good news and show that just one in 10 Leicestershire residents smoke. This is the lowest rate in the East Midlands.

“But, smoking is still a huge factor in preventable illnesses and death, with pregnant women, children, and young people more likely to smoke or vape.

“By recruiting more advisors and specialist support, we can step up this important work and we welcome the Government earmarking this extra money.”

At present, there are currently more than 53,000 smokers across the county.

Smokers are shown to be three times more likely to stop if they have support from an advisor. Each Quit Ready advisor helps to support around 400 residents every year, resulting in over 3,000 people successfully quitting smoking in the last year alone.

According to research which has been seen by a county council spokesperson: “Over half of smokers die of a smoking related illness and that the vast majority of smokers wish they’d never started in the first place.”

They further noted: “Smoking causes one in four cancer deaths and leads to 64,000 deaths per year in England. On top of extra cost for health services, smoking is estimated to cost the economy £17 billion a year through smoking-related lost earnings, unemployment, early deaths, and costs to services.”

The Government grant is expected to be received by next April.

To get in touch with Quit Ready Leicestershire, you can call 0345 646 6666, text ‘ready’ to 66777, or alternatively, visit their official website.

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