New figures show that there are fewer smokers in Bexley than anywhere else in south east London.

The percentage of smokers is down to 12.5 per cent, but while the low rate shows that residents are kicking the habit, it also means that well over 30,000 people are smoking in the borough.

Bexley Council provides its own free stop smoking service, where residents can get access to advice, patches and oral medications.

Residents can self-refer for a free six-week treatment and support programme via the Smokefree Bexley website.

Weekly clinics are held in GP practices, plus Bexleyheath Library, Queen Mary’s Hospital in Sidcup and on-board a mobile health bus outside Morrisons in Erith.

There is also now a telephone helpline available. The NHS Smokefree Helpline offers weekly telephone calls to help smokers maintain their motivation to quit. Smokers can also speak to a expert advisor seven days a week, 9am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 11am to 4pm Saturdays and Sundays.

Councillor Peter Craske, cabinet member for community safety, environment and leisure, said: “We understand that the road to packing up smoking is a tough one.

"That is why we offer our free stop smoking service to support residents along the way. Smokefree Bexley has proved to boost long-term success rates by up to four times and has helped thousands of residents quit for good.

"Now, with the launch of the new NHS Smokefree Helpline, there is even more support available to residents should they feel ready to take the first step.”

Priority appointments are given to pregnant smokers, smokers with existing smoking-related conditions and smokers identified through the NHS Health Check programme.

For more information or to self-refer for Bexley’s free stop smoking service visit Smokefree Bexley or call a Specialist Advisor on 0800 783 2514.

For extra support, call the NHS Smokefree Helpline on 0300 123 1044.