In Derby, smokers consume around 384,600 cigarettes per day, make up over 35% of all litter on the streets, and cost us here in Derby – whether we’re smokers or not – a total of around £66.5m.

The best way to prevent all of this? Quit.

This year, to coincide with Public Health’s Stoptober campaign, Derby City Council’s Livewell team will be launching something very exciting to help smokers kick the habit.
People who get expert support from local stop smoking services are up to four times as likely to quit successfully. Last year, 51% of smokers who got local support managed to quit for good.

Armed with these statistics, the Livewell team were determined to make sure people in Derby had the best possible chance of quitting, and could access support locally at any time. So the team worked to develop an artificial-intelligence powered Facebook Messenger robot; Will Power.

Will Power compliments the face-to-face work that Livewell

Will Power
Will Power

advisors offer, and will send instant, personalised responses to questions, including specific answers about quitting with Livewell. Users can also access daily tips, quirky distraction videos and games for beating cravings. Will also links to the NHS addiction quiz to nudge smokers into thinking about quitting with the option to book an appointment with Livewell.

 

Quitters can speak to Will Power 24/7, by clicking the blue circle with lightening symbol on the Livewell homepage or through a scanned code which features on all campaign printed material using an app.

The official Stoptober challenge begins on Monday 1st October; people can choose to start their quit up until the end of October as part of the campaign. If you can make it to 28 days smoke free, you’re five times more likely to stay quit for good.
Smokers can quit any time with the help of our Livewell team, who offer 12 months of free support and stop smoking treatments to anyone registered to a Derby GP practice.

Councillor Roy Webb, Cabinet Member for Adults, Health and Housing said:

“We know that six in 10 smokers want to kick the habit, but as I know from an ex 40-a-day man, it can be an extremely daunting prospect, especially going it alone. Initiatives like Stoptober are brilliant because thousands of other people are also trying to quit at the same time; it’s like a community.”

Last year, nearly 1000 people quit smoking thanks to Livewell’s free support. As a result each smoker saved an average of £3,731 based on 20 a day, that’s £3.7m in total.

People looking for some face-to-face information or advice can also attend Livewell’s Stoptober roadshow on Friday 28th and Saturday 29th September at Intu Derby (on the ground floor near H Samuels).

The Livewell team will be on hand to encourage sign-ups from smokers as well as engaging friends and family members of smokers to support them through their 28 days smoke free.

They will also be offering free health MOTs which include lung age, blood pressure, body mass index and body fat tests. In addition, people can find out about Livewell’s free weight management programmes and NHS Health Checks.

Ade Fleet from Borrowash quit smoking with Livewell. He took action after 21 years of smoking up to 20 cigarettes a day. He wanted to improve his mental health and make sure he got to see his teenage daughters grow up.
Ade (41) said:

“I was completely dependent on smoking and it was making me feel constantly on edge. Work pressures saw my habit double to smoking 20 cigarettes a day and my nerves were all over the place. It took me four cigarettes to start functioning in a morning. I’d tried countless times to quit but always ended up relapsing, I just didn’t know how to do it.”

He joined Livewell Derby’s free stop smoking service during Stoptober 2017 and started seeing expert advisor, Antony.

“I hoped Livewell could give me a magic formula but I soon realised this doesn’t exist and that your own motivation is key to being successful. My advisor, Antony offered lots of practical advice, free Nicotine Replacement Therapy patches, which saved me around £180 and the opportunity to dropin every fortnight for support and carbon monoxide readings. Seeing my dangerously high CO levels reduce to that of a non-smoker was a fantastic start and being accountable to Antony and my family kept me going, I didn’t want to let any of them down.”

12 months on and Ade is delighted to have achieved his dream of being smoke free for a year. The father of two is now hoping his success will inspire other smokers in Derby to join the Council’s Livewell service to get the support they need to take on the Stoptober challenge.

Talking about how life is different for him now, Ade said:

“I have more energy, my teeth are whiter and I feel mentally good – much more calm and relaxed. Even my wife has noticed an improvement to my complexion. I feel I’m a positive role model to my daughters and have more time to do other things, particularly with my family – it’s amazing how much time smoking was taking out of my day.

“I’ve noticed a difference in my fitness too. It’s great to climb hills on my bike without getting out of breath.

“If I can do it, then so can anyone. The key is to not stop trying.”

Ade is proudly fronting Livewell’s Will Power campaign which aims to encourage the 18% of Derby’s population that smokes (44,775 people aged 15 plus), including those who have previously relapsed, to find their inner will power.

You can see Ade’s story on Newsroom.

With our Livewell services’ support and free stop smoking medicine, finding your will power like Ade to succeed is within your reach. You will have exclusive access to:

• Free Nicotine Replacement Therapy/stop smoking medicine for eight weeks, saving you around £180
• Support to quit using your e-cigarette/vape
• Personalised support for up to 12 months
• Invaluable tips and guidance to beat cravings
• Control your weight while quitting with free exercise sessions and our weight management course

To apply and book a first appointment visit our website, or call the customer team on 01332 641254.

You can also get more information and keep track of the campaign by following Livewell on Twitter and Facebook.

Share your progress by including @LivewellDerby and @DerbyCC in your posts and use the hashtag #Stoptober2018.