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Workers in Greenwich now smoke free thanks to Kick the Habit

Wednesday 3rd August 2016

Stop-smoking advisors at the Trust’s Kick the Habit programme have successfully helped workers in Greenwich quit after holding a drop in at their office in Woolwich.

Balfour Beatty, who are currently constructing the new Crossrail station in Woolwich Arsenal, welcomed CACT to their place of work as part of their “Stepping Up” week, which encourages their employees to take care of their physical and mental wellbeing.

And after speaking with our advisors and completing 12 weeks of support, two people have been smoke-free for three months, and several others are on their way to quitting cigarettes for good.

Malcolm Edwards, health and safety manager at Balfour Beatty’s Woolwich Arsenal site is thrilled with the results. He said: “We invited people from a number of organisations who could advise our staff regarding a range of issues, such as alcohol or drug dependency, occupational health and mental wellbeing, as well as stopping smoking.”

And he is thrilled with the results. “Guys who have quit have done very well; they’ve really taken control of their health. While this is most important it is also great for business as their productivity has increased. Companies lose up to two hours per day, per person through smoking, so we’ve managed to get back lots of hours!”

“The advisers from the Trust were fantastic. They did a presentation on what they can offer and stayed afterwards to speak to our staff. Around nine people dropped in; two of those have stopped smoking and many others in the office are hoping to quit soon.

One of the two quitters is Lenny Chapman, a scaffolder at Balfour Beatty. He has been smoke free for three months and feels much better.

 "I gave up two years ago after smoking for many years but started again in January,” He said. “I was finding it hard to stop again, so I was really happy when I found out the advisors from Charlton Athletic Community trust were attending.

 “They provided me with nicotine replacement patches and microtabs, and called me regularly to see how I was getting on. They made me believe in myself and feel like I could definitely quit this time.

Lenny also found the carbon monoxide readings readings very encouraging. He said: “I have gone from 31 (parts per million Carbon monoxide to heamglobin) to less than 1, which is well in the safe zone! I feel much better in myself, I have an active job which I find much easier now. And my wife has never been a smoker so she is happy too!”

Magda Toxian, a cleaner at the Woolwich Arsenal site also used the Trust’s service.

She had smoked for many years and had managed to quit for three months, but started up again. She said: “When I heard that Stepping Up week was happening at work, I knew it was the help I needed to stop smoking. I didn’t feel I could do it on my own, so I was very glad the guys came to help us. 

Magda, along with Lenny, visited the Trust’s drop-in service every Friday at Clover Health Centre on General Gordon Square in Woolwich. “The guys there were really friendly and always on always on time, ready to help.”

She was supported with nicotine replacement patches and an inhalator but soon felt strong enough to go without products. “I feel really good; I’ve definitely got past the habit of smoking and will not start again,” she said. 

“I feel I burned money as well as my body, I now realise this. I want to thank the guys so much for all their help. I’d definitely encourage others to use the service, as soon as you’re ready to quit – having access to this service has given me the extra help I need.”

For more information on the Trust’s stop smoking service, visit www.greenwichstopsmoking.org.uk.

To book our advisors for an event or drop in, visit http://www.cact.org.uk/what-we-do/health-improvement/