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Helping smokers quit during Stoptober

I have been working as a Recovery Support worker for the past year for the Clear service in Kirklees. We joined the Stoptober national campaign and provided a smoking cessation group this October to help smokers stop.

I wanted to provide group support to help people quit smoking especially as people with mental health needs can find it more difficult to quit.  I have seen through my work and personal life that stopping can be very difficult, especially in the long term as many people go back after a relatively long period of giving up.

Attending the “Helping Smokers Stop Level 2 Advisor training course” run by Kirklees Yorkshire Smokefree Service, enabled me to register as a stop smoking advisor and support clients through a quit attempt. Research shows that face to face behavioral support given over multiple sessions doubles the chances of a successful quit attempt. When this support is combined with a smoking cessation medication, the chances of a successful quit attempt are doubled again. This means that a smoker who attends a stop smoking service, and uses medication as advised, has a four times greater chance of stopping smoking than someone going ‘cold turkey’ in an unsupported attempt. It is this combination of behavioral support and effective medication that gives the smoker the best chance of success at stopping.

I received positive feedback about the group; clients who have been heavy smokers for a long period found the group very informative and they successfully learnt how to use Nicotine Replacement Therapies (NRT).  The treatment has proven research that it works, clients feel a real sense of achievement when they blow green through the CO monitor, which means that their carbon monoxide levels have dropped to one of a none smoker.

Some of the Clear employees have been trained by Smart UK to facilitate Auricular Acupuncture Treatment sessions. Our trainer Sue Cox recommended to included Auricular Acupuncture part of the group as there is evidence based on how this can support smoking cessation groups. I have been including this treatment, which has received positive feedback.

Two clients have successful stopped smoking altogether already. The group will continue to run at our Clear bases in Huddersfield and Dewsbury each quarter providing individual and group based sessions.

Sana Rashid, Clear support worker

For more information about auricular acupuncture visit www.smart-uk.com/evidence.php

For information and advice about quitting smoking visit www.nhs.uk/smokefree