Smokers in Knowsley may receive a text message from their GP Practice urging them to quit to reduce the risk of severe symptoms if they get Covid-19.
The text message will signpost smokers to contact Smokfree Knowsley (the borough’s Stop Smoking Service) for a range of free support to quit or reduce smoking.
Knowsley Council has asked GP Practices to send a text to all their patients who smoke as part of the Quit for Covid campaign.
Covid-19 is a respiratory infection that attacks the lungs and airways. Quitting smoking can help protect smokers and those they live with, reducing the likelihood of complications related to Coronavirus.
Smokefree Knowsley has continued to offer specialist help to residents to quit or reduce smoking during the pandemic with its full range of support delivered remotely.
Smokefree advisors are able to provide an individualised reduction plan for quitting smoking – or stopping the use of a vaping device, with weekly or bi-weekly appointments available via video conferencing or telephone. They can also issue electronic vouchers for free Nicotine Replacement Therapies and Champix.
Anyone shielding, including those who are pregnant, can safely access online and telephone support. Prescriptions for stop smoking medications can be delivered by the Knowsley Community Support and Volunteer Hub. If you need this support call freephone 0800 073 0043 from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday and 10am to 2pm at weekends. (The line is also available on bank holidays, from 10am-2pm).
The Smokefree team has also been working with care homes and social care providers to ensure smokers across the borough are aware of the free support available to help them quit.
Cllr Sean Donnelly, Knowsley Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said:
It’s really important smokers are aware of the increased risk of severe illness with Covid-19, which is why we’ve contacted all the borough’s GP Practices asking them to send a text message to their patients who smoke urging them to quit and highlighting the support available from Knowsley’s Stop Smoking Service.
“We know smokers are four times more likely to quit for good with expert advice, support and medication on prescription – and all this is free and being delivered remotely and safely for our residents by Smokefree Knowsley.”
The Quit for Covid campaign highlights how there has never been a more important time to quit smoking than right now. It is also never too late to see the health benefits from quitting smoking and you’re never too old to quit.
For support, advice and free tools to quit smoking from Knowsley Stop Smoking Service call 0800 3247111 or 0151 426 7462, text quit to 61825 (normal network charge) or visit the website: www.readytostopsmoking.co.uk