People in Doncaster who are recovering from drug and alcohol addiction are being offered extra support to help them quit smoking, in a bid to reduce their risks of premature death.
Doncaster Drug and Alcohol Service is working with service users to tackle smoking alongside their other addictions and reduce their risk of developing long term conditions such as cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Drug and Alcohol Practitioner Ray Worthington said: “Everyone knows nicotine is highly addictive, so people who misuse drugs are highly likely to smoke cigarettes.
“Over 90 per cent of the people we treat are smokers, and we’re seeing many of them developing and dying from smoking-related illnesses, rather than overdosing on the drugs we perceive to be more dangerous.
“Recent reports have suggested tackling smoking alongside other addictions can be more beneficial. This has definitely been reflected in our experience, with one of our successful quitters reducing and then stopping his heroin use while he was giving up smoking.”
Since the beginning of 2015, a number of service users have successfully given up smoking with support from staff who have all been trained to give brief stop smoking advice.
The service is now urging all smokers who use it services to take part in this year’s Stoptober challenge, and has committed to offer personal encouragement and nicotine replacement across all its Doncaster premises to help them kick the habit for good.
Service Manager Stuart Green said: “We want the best possible health outcomes for everyone involved in our services and quitting smoking is the single most important intervention to increase physical and mental quality of life.”