Smokers across Leeds urged to quit for Stoptober

Stoptober – England’s mass 28 day stop smoking attempt - is back following its huge success last year which saw 160,000 people complete the challenge.

Figures show 23 per cent of adults in Leeds still smoke and it remains the nation’s biggest killer with half of long-term smokers dying prematurely from a smoking disease.

The Public Health England campaign comes as new research shows the extra years of life that can be gained by giving up smoking and staying smokefree.

Someone who quits smoking for Stoptober, and doesn’t smoke again, could gain an extra seven days of life, every 28 days, for the rest of their life.

A person stopping smoking for 28 days is five times more likely to stay smokefree and Stoptober’s ambition is to help smokers achieve this goal.

Along with the health benefits, quitting saves the average smoker more than £150 a month and almost £2,000 a year. During last year’s Stoptober campaign, a staggering £25 million was saved by the 160,000 people from not buying cigarettes.

Paul Lambert, a Public Health specialist in tobacco control, said:

“One of Leeds city priorities is to reduce the number of people who smoke. Stoptober is a great campaign which can contribute to this priority by encouraging and supporting people to take their first steps in quitting smoking and start to reap the benefits that this brings - better health and wealth. I wish all those taking part the very best of luck.”

Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies said:

"Half of all smokers die as a result of smoking, this is the single biggest cause of premature death taking more than 100,000 lives in the UK and costing the NHS up to £2.7bn each year.

"Life is precious and you can gain up to seven days for every 28 you remain smokefree. Taking part in the challenge is a first step to a longer and healthier life.

"Have a go, by stopping with Stoptober.”

Professor Kevin Fenton, Public Health England’s Director of Health and Wellbeing added:

“Campaigns such as Stoptober, along with the support provided by local stop smoking services, play a huge role in helping people to stop. Whilst smoking prevalence across the country as a whole is falling steadily, it remains high in some parts and is still the biggest cause of premature death with more than 80,000 deaths in England every year.

“We want every smoker to consider making a quit attempt this October and join the thousands of people who are feeling the benefits from stopping smoking last year.”

Stoptober provides smokers with 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.

Promotion of the campaign began on Monday, September 9 with the launch of new TV advertising and roadshows touring the country.

To encourage people to sign up and order their packs, ultra-marathon runner and ex forty-a-day smoker, Rory Coleman will be running 28 miles a day for 28 days in a row across England and Wales.

As part of Rory’s challenge he will be pushing the giant red Stoptober wheel with the help of local armed forces representatives and members of the public across Leeds on September 12.

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


Notes to editors

1. Rory Coleman will be taking the following route tomorrow:

Leeds Wheel push

• Start 11.30am at Park Square, on St Paul's place

• Head along St Paul's Place to Park Square East

• Turn left onto Park Square east and continue forward over the lights at Westgate and onto Oxford Place

• Continue forward with the town hall on your right and at the end of the road turn right onto Great George street

• Progress all the way along Great George Street onto Merrion Street until it comes to the T junction with Vicar Lane *Suggested photo opportunity

• Turn Left onto Vicar lane and continue forwards until reaching The Headrow

• Progress over the Headrow turning right down King Edward Street and onto Albion Place

• Turn right at Lands Lane and progress onwards until reaching The Headrow

• Turn left at the Headrow and finish at Dortmund Square (on the right) to join up with the Stoptober roadshow *Suggested photo opportunity

2. Promotion of Stoptober begins on 9th September and includes TV and outdoor advertising, digital activity, posters, cards and in-pharmacy literature, roadshows and national and regional PR

3. TV adverts and images will be available via dropbox from the September 6 at https://www.dropbox.com/sh/yfj85e0graqksik/2-17KkEEOy

4. Commentary from charitable partners is also available

5. 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

6. For more information on PHE visit www.gov.uk/phe or follow us on Twitter @PHE_uk

For more information, contact:

Stuart Robinson

Communications Officer

Leeds City Council

Tel: 0113 224 3937

Email: stuart.robinson@leeds.gov.uk



Public Health England Press Office

Tel: 0207 654 8400


Out of hours telephone 0208 200 4400