A new ‘stop smoking’ text message service is being launched this January to help smokers in Cornwall stub out their habit for good in 2023. 

All people need to do is text SMOKEFREE to 82228 and the Healthy Cornwall team will do the rest. 

As well as helping smokers prepare for their quit attempt, the text message service keeps in regular contact over a four-week period, signposting participants to a range of useful tips and tools. 

Evidence shows that if someone can quit for 28 days, they’re five times more likely to quit for good. And if they can quit for a year, they stand to save around £2,000 as well as reaping the health benefits. 

Dr Ruth Goldstein, public health consultant and deputy director of public health at Cornwall Council, said: “If you smoke, the single most valuable thing you can do for your health is to quit. It’s never too late and stopping smoking brings immediate benefits, including for people with an existing smoking-related disease. 

“Quitting can also improve mood and help relieve stress, anxiety and depression, as well as saving you a lot of money, which is an added incentive in these tough economic times. 

“So why not sign up to our new text message service and try to ditch the cigarettes in 2023?” 

Latest statistics by charity ASH show there are almost 70,000 adult smokers in Cornwall who puff their way through 640,000 cigarettes a day. This costs each of them £1,944 a year on average, or around £37 a week. Data also shows that smoking costs Cornwall’s communities a staggering £177.45-million every year, including a £130-million hit to workforce productivity, £31-million on healthcare, £13-million on social care and £3.45-milliom in fire costs. The habit also creates 34 tons of waste a year, of which almost half – 14 tons – is street litter. 

Cllr Dr Andy Virr, portfolio holder for adults and public health and Emergency Department consultant at the Royal Cornwall Hospital, said: “The total devastation that smoking causes to people’s lives is something I see all the time in my job. 

“So I can’t stress enough how important it is to quit if you’re a smoker. We know the best way to do this is with specialist support and medication, or e-cigarettes if you are over 18. GPs and pharmacists can also give advice and tips to help you stop. “There is a lot of support available to help you, including this fantastic new text service, so don’t put it off any longer and join all the other smokers across the country who will be stubbing out their habit in 2023.” 

For more information on quitting visit the Healthy Cornwall Smokefree web page or download the free NHS Quit Smoking app, which includes a handy calculator so smokers can see how much they could save.