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As a result of the coronavirus outbreak, Portsmouth Wellbeing Service is seeing a number of residents contact them to try and quit smoking to avoid the higher risk of poorer health if they contract the virus.

Current research1 suggests that smokers are approximately 2.5 times as likely to need treatment in an intensive care unit or to die from COVID-19.

Portsmouth Wellbeing Service remain operational to help people looking to quit smoking, as well as supporting those who want to lose weight or reduce how much alcohol they drink. To adhere to social distancing guidance they’re offering advice and support over the phone rather than in person.

The Wellbeing Service is currently supporting 250 Portsmouth residents to improve their health.

For those looking to quit smoking, the Wellbeing Service can still facilitate access to medication such as nicotine replacement therapies and Champix.

Cllr Matthew Winnington, Cabinet Member for Health, Wellbeing and Social Care at Portsmouth City Council, said; “Whilst coronavirus is clearly something we wish hadn’t happened it’s resulted in some heartening changes, including bringing communities closer together and driving people to want to quit smoking. We know that giving up smoking is one of the single best things you can do for your health regardless of coronavirus so I wish those looking to quit the best of luck. You’re four times more likely to quit with support so turning to the brilliant City Council Wellbeing Service is a great way to set yourself up for success.

“Many people are also using the time they’ve found themselves with during lockdown as an opportunity to tackle some other unhealthy behaviours such as their poor diet or lack of exercise. The Wellbeing Service is ready and willing on the phone to support anyone looking to become healthier.”

Residents can contact the Wellbeing Service on 023 9229 4001 or


1)      COVID-19 and smoking: A systematic review of the evidence