Leeds smokers given help to quit for Stoptober

Stoptober 2013– England’s mass 28 day stop smoking attempt - is being launched at Leeds Kirkgate Market on 1st October by Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Leeds City Council Executive Board Member for Health and Wellbeing, and Public Health expert Paul Lambert following its huge success last year which saw 160,000 people complete the challenge.

A giant red ‘Stop’ button is featuring in the campaign, and will be reminding people that the campaign is offering a range of support and help to the 23% of adults in Leeds who still smoke to help them quit.

Smoking remains the nation’s biggest killer with half of long-term smokers dying prematurely from a smoking disease and there are areas of the city where smoking rates are much higher.

Councillor Mulherin, said:

“We know more than one in five adults in Leeds still smoke and it is a priority for Leeds to reduce this number. For some areas of the least well off parts of the city, such as Middleton, that figure rises far higher. We know if you stop smoking for 28 days you are five times more likely to stay smokefree and Stoptober is a great opportunity to achieve this. You could also be saving over £150 a month and almost £2,000 a year, so it is good for the health of your bank balance as well as your body.”

The Public Health England campaign comes as new research shows the extra years of life that can be gained by giving up smoking, with someone who quits smoking for Stoptober and doesn’t smoke again, able to gain an extra seven days of life, every 28 days, for the rest of their life. As well as this if they stop smoking for 28 days they are five times more likely to stay smokefree and Stoptober’s ambition is to help smokers achieve this goal.

Smokers can get a range of free support including a new stop smoking pack, a 28-day mobile phone app and text support with daily updates and quitting advice, detailed tools and tips for coping, as well as the encouragement and support from thousands of people quitting together through Stoptober social media.

Stoptober 2013 starts on Tuesday 1st October and runs for 28 days. For more information and to join the biggest stop smoking challenge of its kind, search ‘Stoptober’ online.

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Notes to editors

1. Councillor Mulherin and Paul Lambert will be at Leeds Kirkgate Market by the Leeds Healthy Living stall with the 2m red ‘Stop’ sign, available for photos and interviews from 10.00am until 10.20am.

2. Leeds City Council’s Public Health team are working alongside colleagues across the council along with the NHS and Public Health England to reduce smoking rates across the city.

3. Public Health England’s mission is to protect and improve the nation’s health and to address inequalities through working with national and local government, the NHS, industry and the voluntary and community sector. PHE is an operationally autonomous executive agency of the Department of Health

4. For more information on PHE visit www.gov.uk/phe and the Stoptober web pages http://smokefree.nhs.uk/stoptober

For interview requests or further information, contact:

Phil Morcom

Communications and Marketing team

Leeds City Council

E-mail: philip.morcom@leeds.gov.uk

Tel: Please use temporary number 0772 227 5370

Fax: 0113 247 4736


Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3335