Sarah Cowling CEO

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STOPTOBER 2015 success

HealthWORKS Newcastle staff team practice what they preach

Public Health England (PHE) has revealed that over 215,000 smokers signed up to this year’s Stoptober, the country’s 28-day mass quitting challenge.

18 of the people signing up to take part are staff from HealthWORKS Newcastle. Keen to quit the habit they spend their time helping others to drop, some of these staff view themselves as ‘social smokers’, but others were daily smokers. HealthWORKS aims to have a smoke free workforce as part of their commitment to promoting health in house as well as to the wider public.

HealthWORKS, a local health charity, offered staff support during the 28 day campaign and beyond, by providing a free e-cigarette starter kit plus 4 week refills, with a tailor made package of support for each individual from the Community Health Trainer team.

Community Health Trainers are trained at intermediate level as smoking cessation advisors and offered ongoing support and motivation to their colleagues taking up the STOPTOBER challenge. To measure progress, staff participating agreed to have their carbon monoxide (CO) levels being monitored with a ‘smoke-alyser’ and then published for the rest of the workforce to see.

In line with the company policy for smokers, e- cigarettes could not be smoked in the workplace, but only in staff’s own time and away from the office. Staff received the offer with enthusiasm, motivating one another with a bit of healthy competition by posting their weekly CO readings.

Out of the eighteen people who participated
• 10 staff started their journey together with amazing results at the four week mark, showing carbon monoxide readings of 6 and under – the same results a non-smoker would get. Staff who maintained this for a further week are classed as ‘official quitters’!

• 4 staff went from being classified as heavy smokers, to non-smokers!

• The other 8 staff came on board at different times but to date results are following the the trends set by their colleagues

To help keep momentum going after the initial four week campaign, many staff are keen to continue having their CO readings monitored for a further 4 weeks, and to have a maintenance check at the 12 week point.

Congratulations to all staff taking part this year!
And special thanks to ‘Funky Vapours’ for supplying the e-cigarette packs at low cost
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Research shows that by stopping smoking for 28 days, you are 5 times more likely to stop for good. AND the money a 20 a day smoker might save in one year of not smoking is £3,011….