Photograph: courtesy Hackney Council

Support your local NHS in Hackney by stopping smoking.

The World Health Organisation and Public Health England have warned that smokers with Covid-19 are 14 times more likely to develop severe symptoms, as the virus attacks the respiratory system. 

Professor John Newton, director of health improvement at Public Health England (PHE) said: “In light of this unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic, there has never been a more important time to stop smoking. Not only for your own health but to protect those around you. It will also help alleviate the huge pressures on the NHS.”

Smokefree Hackney is your local NHS stop smoking service, and they are continuing their work to help smokers quit during the pandemic: as they cannot currently see smokers in person they are running telephone and email support and advice sessions and arranging to supply stop smoking medications via local pharmacies. 

Online support is also available in a national #QuitforCovid daily clinic on twitter between 7.30-8.30pm where you can ask an experienced advisor for information and guidance which you can find by following

Last year Smokefree Hackney helped over 1,000 people who live, work, or study in Hackney to stop smoking for good. Previous Quitters say that they found the help provided by the service made all the difference.

Hackney Central resident, Ricky Stallard said: “I smoked about 20-25 cigarettes a day, sometimes more if I was stressed at work or when I was bored, which I didn’t even realise until I had my first session with the Stop Smoking Advisor, which was a surprise. 

“I decided to quit when I started to think, this is a bit of a dirty habit, standing in a corner desperate to smoke, and it’s costing me money that I don’t want to waste anymore. The advisor listens to you and helps you come up with a plan that works for you. 

“I’m really glad I went in and had that talk in the first place. I look at people smoking now and I think ‘Oh mate, you need to pack it in!'”

Cabinet Member for health, adult social care and leisure, Cllr Chris Kennedy said: “If you are a smoker, there has never been a more appropriate time to quit than now. Smoking increases your risk of coronavirus, and is more likely to lead to severe symptoms if you contract it. The Hackney stop smoking service is on hand to help you stub out the habit, which will not only help you during this pandemic, but will support your local NHS by decreasing the likelihood of you developing severe symptoms. Try it now and quit for Covid!”

Smoking makes it more likely that you will have complications if you get sick and that it will take you longer to recover. Smoking of any kind, not just cigarettes, but shisha, cannabis or any other substances will also increase your risks.

You can contact Smokefree Hackney by calling 0800 046 9946 or visiting the website at 

You can also follow Smokefree Hackney on twitter @Smokefreehckny

The coronavirus outbreak sadly means the Hackney Citizen is unable to print a monthly newspaper for the first time in its 12-year history.

At a time when independent and trusted news is more important than ever, this was an incredibly difficult decision to have to make.

Without print advertising, our major source of income, a one-off donation from anyone who can afford it will help our small team keep the website and social media feeds running through this unprecedented crisis.

When Hackney and the wider world has fought off this virus and we return to some semblance of normality, the print edition will be back.

Find out how you can donate

Thanks in advance for your support, and stay safe.