29 Sep 2015

Leeds backs annual quit smoking campaign as new law comes into force

Health Wellbeing

A ban on smoking in cars starts as the annual Stoptober campaign encouraging people to quit smoking is launched this year.

Some of the country’s top comedians have joined forces with Stoptober to help smokers make their way through the 28 day challenge and with TV adverts, online support and help from local NHS stop smoking services local health experts are hoping more people will take the opportunity to stop smoking this year.

Thousands of people have signed up to quit in Leeds in recent years and two thirds of the people getting involved successfully quit for 28 days – enough to help break the cycle of dependency.

Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Chair of Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board, said:

“It is absolutely fantastic to know Stoptober is so successful. The new law banning smoking in cars with children in comes in this October, so this year there is another great reason to join in.

“We are trying to inspire the next generation to be smokefree, so everything we can do to help with that is a step in the right direction. With smoking causing the death of half the people who do it, quitting is one of the most effective ways to help people in Leeds improve their health.”

Local tobacco control expert Paul Lambert from Leeds City Council’s Public Health team said:

“We’re down to record rates of smoking in Leeds, but we still have a long way to go. Smoking rates are just under a quarter for adults, and it is worse in some parts of the city. I know quitting is tough, but I also know people who quit do feel better in time. Stopping smoking is the best thing you can do to improve your health, so I’d really encourage people to take up the help on offer to quit as part of the Stoptober challenge.”

Stoptober provides a range of free tools including a mobile phone app, text support with daily updates, quitting advice and tips for coping, as well as the encouragement and support from thousands of people quitting together through Stoptober social media channels.

The 28-day challenge starts on Thursday 1st October. For more information and to join the biggest stop smoking challenge of its kind, search ‘Stoptober’ online and sign up.

The new regulations banning smoking in cars are part of the existing smokefree laws and make it an offence to smoke or to fail to prevent smoking in a private vehicle with someone under the age of 18 present. Both the smoker and the driver could be fined £50.


Notes to Editors

  • While smoking rates have declined over past decades, smoking is still the biggest cause of preventable illness and premature deaths in the country - accounting for over 80,000 deaths in England a year. One in every two long-term smokers will die prematurely from a smoking related disease unless they quit.

For media enquiries contact:

Leeds City Council Communications team