With smoking remaining the leading cause of premature morbidity in Leeds, health chiefs across the city are renewing their calls for people to quit.
Statistics show that smoking kills approximately 3,500 people every year in Leeds with half of all long-term smokers, particularly those who began smoking in adolescence, dying from smoking.
Furthermore, smoking rates currently stand at 18.2% - compared with the national rate of 14.4%.
Now, health leaders are re-enforcing the benefits of quitting. Whilst all smokers are being targeted, they’re particularly hoping to raise awareness amongst pregnant women. The action coincides with the recent new National No Smoking Day campaign – Today is the day! – which aims to inspire, motivate and support people to take their first steps towards quitting smoking.
Councillor Rebecca Charlwood, Leeds City Council’s executive member for health, wellbeing and adults comments: “Stopping smoking is the single most helpful thing you can do to improve your health and the health of the people around you. Every year, more and more people quit smoking and enjoy the better wellbeing, wealth, lifestyle and life expectancy this can bring.
“Research shows the most effective way to stop smoking is to use a stop smoking service which will provide you with free expert advice and support. Our stop smoking service, One You Leeds, provides numerous support sessions across the city and offers nicotine replacement therapy and prescribed medication if required.”
Cllr Charlwood adds: “We’re advising pregnant women, and those thinking about starting a family, that there’s no better time to stop smoking than this month, as part of National No Smoking Day.
“We can offer them clinics at locations across the city, or home visits if more convenient.”
Dr Sarah Forbes, NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group’s associate medical director, says: “We know the difficulties people face trying to give up smoking permanently, but evidence shows that people are far more likely to succeed in quitting the habit if they quit with support rather than try to tackle it alone.
“Giving up smoking could add as much as 10 years to a person’s life as well as save them thousands of pounds so the motivation is always there to give up the habit. With so much help around to support those trying to give up, we’re urging every smoker in Leeds to use No Smoking Day to take a step towards a healthier future.”
Research shows that the benefits of quitting include:
· 20 minutes after putting out your last cigarette, your pulse rate is returning to normal and your heart is working less hard.
· 48 hours after putting out your last cigarette, your lungs are clearing and nasty mucus and you can smell and taste better. For pregnant women, you and your baby are no longer at risk from harmful chemicals and there are fewer harmful toxins in your bloodstream - meaning your baby's brain is more likely to develop properly
· 72 hours after putting out your last cigarette, breathing is easier and you’re feeling more energetic. Pregnant women will start to reduce the risk of losing their baby.
· 1 year after putting out your last cigarette, risk of heart attack halves and research shows you’re likely to feel happier.
National No Smoking Day launched in 1985. Over the years it has grown in size and scale and is now celebrated by communities across the globe.
For help to quit smoking search One You Leeds or go to www.oneyouleeds.co.uk.