A new service to encourage people in Liverpool to stop smoking has been launched.
Smokefree Liverpool, commissioned by Public Health Liverpool, will see a series of events taking place across the city over the next month, including a specially commissioned community ‘Smokefree bus’ which will visit communities offering help and advice to people to quit.
As well as the vast health benefits of quitting, people who give up save on average around £2,000 per year.
Smokefree Liverpool, which replaces the Roy Castle FagEnds service, offers a choice of free help and support including face to face support from friendly advisors, selected local pharmacies plus phone and text support. They also offer support for those wanting to quit e-cigarettes.
Last year, 6,307 people in Liverpool signed up for stop smoking support, with almost 50 percent still successful after four weeks.
Councillor Paul Brant, Cabinet member for health, said: “Stopping smoking is the biggest thing you can do to benefit your health, with 50% of smokers dying early.
“So whether you’re looking to prevent future ill health, increase your energy and improve your breathing or would simply like more money in your pocket, I would urge people to sign up.”
Dr Sandra Davies, Liverpool’s Director of Public Health, said: “We know that the vast majority of smokers in Liverpool are keen to quit and there is lots of support to help
“If you have tried unsuccessfully to stop smoking before, it doesn’t matter, sooner or later you will be successful if you are determined enough and have the right support.”
Around 1 in 4 people in Liverpool still smoke and figures compiled by ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) estimate the overall cost of smoking on the city is approximately £148.8m. This includes £22.3m costs to the NHS and £68.7m for smoking breaks and loss of productivity from sick days.
People wanting to give up smoking can get in touch with Smokefree Liverpool in the following ways:
Phone: 0800 061 4212
Text: QUIT to 66777
Social media: Search Smokefree Liverpool on Facebook and @SFree_Liverpool on Twitter
The Smoke Free Bus will be in the following locations each day during October:
10am – 12 noon: The Bridge Community Centre, 2 Daneville Rd, Walton, L4 9RG
9.30 – 11.30am: West Speke Health Centre, Blacklock Hall Road, Speke, L24 3TY
There will also be Smoke Free Liverpool events from 9am – 4pm on Church Street on Saturday 8 October and in Williamson Square on Saturday 15 October and Saturday 22 October with staff available to give advice and support.
James had been smoking 20-30 cigarettes a day and quit by attending a Smokefree Liverpool drop in group in Dovecot. He decided to quit smoking mainly due to health reasons saving the money was added bonus.
James said: “Ongoing to the drop in session I have learnt about how Smokefree Liverpool would be able to help me try to quit smoking. The stop smoking advisors where very helpful and understanding as they are all ex-smokers.
“They went through all the different products, tips and hints for quitting smoking. They also were at the end of the phone if I need to speak with them in between.
“I knew that the levels of carbon monoxide in my lungs would be measured each week so that motivated me to stay smoke free.
“I tried nicotine replacement therapy which helped with my craving a lot and each day of being smoke free I gained a great sense of achievement.
“I still go every other week to have my carbon monoxide reading just to keep me on track and motivated and now I have started to go to the Smokefree bus instead as it is really easy for me to get to.”