Hackney smokers warned of virus risk

SmokeFree Hackney encourage the community to stop smoking. Pic: Mohamad Hassan

Over 40,000 Hackney people are being encouraged to quit smoking amidst growing concerns of Coronavirus risks

The campaign which began January 1 and will continue indefinitely has been introduced by Smokefree Hackney to help Hackney residents to quit smoking for good whilst also highlighting the increased risk from Covid-19.

The campaign is stressing that, as smoking harms the immune system, many smokers will be at a higher risk of contracting the virus.

According to the World Health Organisation, these risks include: ‘Being admitted to intensive care, requiring mechanical ventilation and suffering severe health consequences.’

Smokefree Hackney tweeted: ‘In the UK, there has been an accumulated 97,939 deaths to date… in 2016 there were 95,800 smoking-related deaths.’

Data taken from Public Health England’s “Local Tobacco Control Profile” report of 2017/18,  shows that Hackney had the highest smoking prevalence rate across the London Boroughs but also one of the highest success rates in quitting.

The campaign is offering the advice of specialists throughout Hackney who will be available for telephone conversations across 24 pharmacies. All support is free for Hackney residents or individuals who attend school or work in the area.

If you sign up to quit smoking via Smokefree Hackney you will receive a choice of medication which is free on prescription for 12 weeks and individual weekly sessions with trained advisors for 12 weeks. These services are available in up to 8 languages to cater for the borough’s diverse community.

Councillor Chris Kennedy, Cabinet Member for Health, Adult Social Care and Leisure said: “I urge smokers in Hackney to choose a better quality of life and make this year the year to stop smoking for good”.

Hopes that smoking in Hackney will decline due to the campaign. Pic: Peter Franz

In previous years, Hackney has continually made efforts into helping residents to quit smoking or reduce this as much as possible. In 2018 NHS organisations in Hackney pledged to go smoke-free and Hackney council agreed a £4 million deal to combine ‘stop smoking’ services. In 2017 this service helped 1,500 people to quit smoking in Hackney.

To sign up for the Smokefree Hackney services to quit smoking for good or find out further information, call 03001231044 or visit: https://www.smokefreehackney.org

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