Slough Borough Council is supporting a new advertising campaign ‘Today is the Day’, which encourages smokers to quit today, as thousands of smokers report quitting across the South East.
The new campaign launched by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) features a heartfelt plea from respiratory doctor Ruth Sharrock for smokers to quit today to protect themselves from smoking related diseases and increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Smoking is the largest cause of preventable death in the borough responsible for over 141 deaths a year  and every year a further 365 children take up smoking in Slough. 
Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, 136,006 smokers in the South East have quit smoking, according to new analysis by ASH and University College London. .
Dr Sayra Baig, a GP at Manor Park Medical Centre, Slough said: “The coronavirus pandemic has made us all conscious of the need to protect ourselves, our families and loved ones. If you smoke, now is the time to quit to keep yourself healthy and out of hospital. In my role I see the harms of smoking every day, but it’s never too late to quit and experience health benefits, even if you are already unwell. Quitting smoking is the best thing smokers can do to improve their health so I’m proud to be supporting the Today is the Day campaign.”
The Today is the Day campaign has been funded by the Department of Health and Social Care, and will be directing smokers to effective forms of support to quit on the NHS Smokefree website. The campaign builds on successful campaigns in the North East and Greater Manchester and will target smokers across the South East through a combination of radio, digital audio and online adverts.
Dr Liz Brutus, Service Lead for Public Health in Slough said: “We want to encourage all smokers to give quitting a go, especially during this pandemic. Quitting smoking can rapidly reduce your risk of a range of life threatening illnesses and our dedicated local stop smoking service, Health and Wellbeing Slough can help support you through your quit attempt with expert advice and medications to deal with cravings.”
To access FREE support to quit smoking in Slough, contact Health and Wellbeing Slough on 0800 0614734 or online at www.healthandwellbeingslough.co.uk
Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of ASH said: “Over 136,006 smokers have succeeded in stopping smoking in the South East region since COVID-19 hit us, but that still leaves many thousands more smokers who have not. This campaign is designed to encourage those who’ve not yet succeeded; to wake up and decide today is the day to stop smoking.”
See the radio and digital audio advert here: https://bit.ly/2ZcmGTx