Smokers poised to stub out cigarettes

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FYLDE coast smokers are being urged to quit during October as part of a new national campaign.

From Monday, the Department of Health will launch a mass participation quitting attempt across England, called Stoptober.

Figures from NHS Blackpool show almost 400 people die every year in Blackpool as a result of smoking, while 8,000 receive medical care for preventable smoking-related conditions.

The campaign will seek to encourage as many smokers as possible to attempt to go smokefree for 28 days throughout October.

Some 21 per cent of adults in England continue to smoke and the Department of Health aims to reduce this figure to 18.5 per cent by 2015.

The campaign is based on research which shows that if smokers can stop for 28 days, they are five times more likely to stay smoke free.

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is backing the campaign by holding a series of information awareness days throughout October at Blackpool Victoria Hospital where members of the trust’s Stop Smoking Service will be on hand to provide a range of free specialist advice, help and support during people’s stop smoking attempt.

Chris Lewis, stop smoking specialist adviser at the trust, said: “If we can encourage smokers to try to not smoke for October they may find it easier to quit for good.

“The trust is fully supporting the national Stoptober campaign, which will allow smokers across Blackpool and the Fylde coast to become part of something bigger and look to lead a healthier lifestyle with our help.”

During the campaign the hospital is working with Blackpool Council to help strengthen the message the hospital is a smokefree site.

Rachel Swindells, the trust’s public health facilitator, said it is important to stress to patients and visitors there is no smoking at the hospital.

She said: “We need to get the message across to the public how important maintaining a smokefree environment is for our patients and that we need the support of the public to achieve this.

“We are working to educate people about this matter over the next few weeks and we look forward to having the co-operation of patients and visitors.’

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