Smoking cessation advisers will soon be able to help County Durham communities nip cigarettes in the bud thanks to the launch of a new ‘Wellness on Wheels’ mobile clinic.
Smokefreelife County Durham, which is commissioned by Durham County Council and delivered by Solutions 4 Health (S4H), provides free targeted support for smokers.
Councillor Hovvels, Durham County Council’s cabinet member for adult and health services, said: “Smoking is still the biggest preventable cause of ill health in County Durham, and contributes to the death of nearly 1,200 people every year.
“We know many people who smoke would like to quit, so with support from our new Smokefreelife County Durham service, smokers will be helped to make their first step to a healthier and wealthier future.”
The Smokefreelife County Durham service is now available seven days a week, with services including the mobile clinic offered alongside a free telephone Quitline, text, email and traditional face-to-face support.
The existing, dedicated 21 strong team, that was previously part of County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, has transferred over to Solutions 4 Health to ensure a continuity of care and a continuing strong relationship with pharmacists, GPs, midwives, hospital consultants, health care and voluntary sector professionals.
Su Sear, the regional lead for Smokefreelife County Durham, said: “We take a very positive approach and are about reducing health inequalities through supporting and empowering people to improve their health and wellbeing – After all, smokers are at least four times more likely to quit successfully when they have professional support.
“County Durham has a higher than national average number of adults who smoke – over 30% of people do in some more deprived areas. So our aim is to raise the number of quitters to over 2,300 per year and make the service accessible to everyone who needs it.
“The mobile unit will be particularly useful in the less accessible areas of the county and help us to deliver support to groups like pregnant women, low income families, routine and manual workers and the BME and Gypsy Traveller communities.”