HEALTH bosses have been trying to appeal to people’s vanity to encourage them to stop them smoking.
As well as getting the usual health messages across at an event for No Smoking Day at Moor Park Health and Leisure Centre, in Bispham, workers from the specialist Stop Smoking Service used software to show people how smoking could cause ageing and how they might end up looking if they don’t stub out for good.
This year’s No Smoking Day had the theme of a Leap into the Future, so health experts hoped to give people a glimpse of their future-look if they carried on with their habit.
Those who attended were also able to have a free lung health check, where they were told their lung ‘age’ – a reflection of the damage caused by cigarettes.
There was also carbon monoxide testing, to show people how much carbon monoxide would be in the body from smoking, which could affect the heart.
Advisors were present for people to ask questions, find out more about the NHS specialist stop smoking service and sign up if they wanted to become a quitter.
Tracey Englishby, stop smoking coordinator, based at Whitegate Drive, in Blackpool, said: “The ‘ageing’ software worked really well. It fitted in well with the theme of a leap into the future.
“We wanted something which would be a bit different and grab people’s attention.
“Of course, we tell people all the usual health messages too – but many people are familiar with the damage to health smoking can cause.
“We still make people aware of the internal damage smoking cause, but this was about the external damage to their appearance.
“Particularly for younger people, it might seem like such a long way off in the future for them to think about their health.
“But to see this external damage, it really helps get the message across.
“Members of the public are very surprised when they see how smoking can age you and what it does to your skin.
“If you show it to a group of young girls, it can really help bring it home to them.
“We were e-mailing people pictures of themselves with the skin damage, to help them stay motivated.
“We had advisors from the specialist stop smoking service on-hand for people to speak to right away if they wanted to quit.
“We had lots going on on the day itself. It was busy and successful.”