Be Smoke Free have seen their referrals double since the beginning of April, which is no coincidence as the cost of living crisis forces people to find new ways to save money. Quitting or cutting down on smoking can help free up funds in the short term and can improve health and wellbeing in long term. In this Spirit of Manchester Story we hear how quitting smoking can help people combat the rising cost of living.
Be Smoke Free, Manchester - Saving money through quitting smoking
Katie Burke, Community and Engagement Lead, Change Grow Live
With the cost of living on the rise, many people living in Greater Manchester are looking for ways to reduce their outgoings. April 1st saw the cost of electricity rise by approximately 50%, motorists are finding themselves spending more at the petrol station due to rises in fuel prices, and we’ve seen our weekly shop get gradually more expensive in recent months. If you smoke, cutting back or quitting cigarettes can be a great way to save money. The table below illustrates the average cost per year for smoking, depending on the price and number of cigarettes smoked.
The figures are startling – imagine the things that can be done with that sort of money! We know that we’re living through stressful times, and many smokers in Greater Manchester smoke to relieve that stress. Because of this, you might be thinking ‘‘No way can I give up the fags!’’, but fear not, because free stop-smoking support is available. Be Smoke Free is a specialist nurse-led tobacco addiction service powered by Change Grow Live, in partnership with Manchester Health Care Commissioning Service and Manchester City Council. Be Smoke Free’s aim is to raise awareness of the negative effects of smoking and to support individuals in quitting smoking. The service was born in April 2020, and since then has supported over 700 people to successfully quit after four weeks, and over 400 people to successfully quit over twelve weeks. As the table demonstrates, quitters can make life-changing savings to their expenditure alongside the well-publicised health benefits of going smoke free. Be Smoke Free supports people 12 years+ who live in Manchester or are registered with a Manchester-based GP to stop smoking via evidence-based treatment. When working with Be Smoke Free the individual receives:
- A free and direct supply of nicotine replacement therapy and medication (including vapes), without the need for a prescription or GP appointment.
- A dedicated Tobacco Addiction Specialist Nurse who will provide ongoing behavioural support during bi-weekly appointments.
- Treatment that typically lasts twelve weeks, with medication and nicotine replacement therapy provided free of and delivered to the individual’s home.
Our service is completely free of charge, so if you, or somebody you know, is ready to start their stop-smoking journey and save money in the process, you can contact Be Smoke Free directly on 0161 823 4157 or visit their website www.changegrowlive.org/be-smoke-free to access the direct self-referral form.