Trust supports campaign urging smokers to quit today

Date: 07 August 2020


Medway NHS Foundation Trust is supporting a new campaign, ‘Today is the Day’, which encourages smokers to quit today.

The initiative, led by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), has been launched to help protect smokers from the increased risk of severe illness linked to COVID-19.

Although smoking rates in Medway have dropped by almost half (44 per cent) in the last eight years, it remains the nation’s biggest killer due to the devastating harm that tobacco causes.

Since Medway Maritime Hospital became smoke-free in 2016, clinicians like Dr Nandita Divekar have been working hard, in partnership with Medway Council, to encourage patients and staff to kick the habit.

Dr Divekar, a Consultant Anaesthetist and Intensivist and the Smoking Cessation lead at the hospital, in Gillingham, said:

“Smoking remains one of the biggest killers in our local area of Medway and Swale, and we want to encourage all smokers to give quitting a go. Quitting smoking can rapidly reduce your risk of a range of life threatening illnesses and our dedicated local smoking cessation team, the Medway Stop Smoking Service, can help support you through your quit attempt with expert advice and medications to deal with cravings.”

Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, 136,006 smokers in the south east have quit smoking, according to new analysis by ASH and University College London.

Reflecting on this, Dr Divekar added:

“The coronavirus pandemic has made us all conscious of the need to protect ourselves, our families and loved ones. If you smoke, now is the time to quit to keep yourself healthy and out of hospital. In my role I see the harms of smoking every day, but it’s never too late to quit and experience health benefits, even if you are already unwell.

“Quitting smoking is the best thing smokers can do to improve their health and as a Trust we are very proud to be supporting the ‘Today is the Day’ campaign.”

If you want to quit smoking for good, visit or call 01634 334 800.

  • Summary:

    Medway NHS Foundation Trust is supporting a new campaign, ‘Today is the Day’, which encourages smokers to quit today.