REPLACE ash with cash – that’s the message to Fylde coast smokers for this year’s No Smoking Day.
It’s the 30th anniversary of No Smoking Day on Wednesday and this year’s theme is Swap Fags for Swag.
Health bosses are hoping to highlight not only the benefits stubbing out for good can have on people’s wealth, but also their health.
The campaign focuses on what people could buy with the money they would previously have spent on cigarettes, if they quit smoking.
For instance, £7 – the average price of a pack of cigarettes – could buy a new lipstick.
A 20-a-day smoker could treat their kids with the £49 saved after a week or a new TV with the £210 saved after one month.
After a year of not smoking, they’d have saved £2,555, enough for a family holiday.
Carol Bramhall, from Blackpool’s NHS Stop Smoking Service – which helps hundreds of local people quit each year – will be involved in the awareness day.
She said: “It’s a really good idea to consider the financial impact of smoking. A Blackpool family swapping “fags for swag” would have much more money to spend on treats which would benefit the whole family – such as a trip to the cinema, a day at the Sandcastle or a trip to Blackpool Zoo or the Tower.
“In these difficult financial times, imagine being able to gain more disposable income.”
There will be an information stall and freebies on Wednesday, at the walk-in centre in the Whitegate Health Centre, Whitegate Drive, Blackpool, between 10am until 1pm, between 5 and 6.30pm.
Carol added: “A stop smoking specialist advisor will be on-hand for anyone who wishes to have support to quit.”
Dr Mike Knapton, from the British Heart Foundation, which runs the No Smoking Day campaign, said: “It’s turning the cigarettes you used to smoke into tangible awards.
“Most smokers are aware of the health consequence, but they see the risks as being a long way off. However, the guilt they feel about smoking and the money it costs affects them today.”
Volunteers from the health mentor team will also be on-hand at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
They will be positioned in main areas between 10am and 4pm offering information about No Smoking Day and the Stop Smoking Service and outside Oliver’s Restaurant from 8.30am until 3pm.
They will be able to give staff and visitors advice about quitting and offering carbon monoxide tests.
Blackpool Stop Smoking Service can be contacted on (01253) 651570 or email@example.com