The latest phase of a successful public health campaign to encourage smokers in Liverpool to quit is being launched.
Smoking accounts for almost 1,000 deaths in the city every year, and one in four people smoke.
In January, Public Health Liverpool persuade
d at least 400 more people to make a serious attempt to give up through two distinct campaigns aimed at men and women which clocked up more than 18,000 website visits – and now the campaign is being relaunched.
Men are being targeted through the ‘Kick the Ciggies’ campaign at http://kicktheciggies.com/ focused around football which features Liverpool FC legend Jamie Carragher offering encouragement on the game plan and tactics needed to give up.
Women are urged to ‘Chuck the Ciggies’ at http://chucktheciggies.com/ (pictured above) which features local actress and presenter Gemma Brodrick and a series of films with local women Danielle, Amy, Ginny, and Hilary who all quit smoking, sharing their tips and advice and giving encouragement.
Both sites direct people towards Smokefree Liverpool, a free service in the city which already helps around 250 men and women a month give up smoking through FREE one to one support and access to medicines that fight cravings. There will also be community events and promotion at Everton FC matches.
Councillor Tim Beaumont, Mayoral lead for wellbeing, said: “We had real success with Kick the Ciggies and Chuck the Ciggies at the start of the year and hundreds of people made a serious attempt to give up, many of them successfully.
“What we are trying to do is break down a few barriers and show people that they are not alone and there are lots of different types of support out there to help them quit.
“Smoking is one of the biggest killers in Liverpool and all the evidence shows that quitting is the biggest thing you can do to benefit your health and it also benefits your pocket.
“The vast majority of smokers in Liverpool are keen to quit and our message is that there is lots of support to help you through the process and we’ll work with you to come up with a quit plan suited to your needs and ensure you succeed.”
Danielle Kavanagh, who quit a year ago with support from Smokefree Liverpool after an 18 year addiction, features in the Chuck the Ciggies campaign.
She is urging others to give up and said: “I was a slave to an addiction that was bigger than me and for a long time I wanted to quit but I’d make up a million excuses.
“It’s now been a year for me in which I have been free of cancer sticks and the good things for me are that there is no hanging about outside, smoking in the rain or cold.
“There are no more smelly hands, breath or hair. I feel clean inside and out and have money to do my hobbies and going out.
“Getting support from the Smokefree Liverpool team has changed my life.”
People wanting to give up smoking can also get in touch with Smokefree Liverpool in the following ways:
Social media: Search Smokefree Liverpool on Facebook and @SFree_Liverpool on Twitter
• Smoking increases the risk of heart disease by a quarter and doubles the risk of heart attack or stroke
• Cardiovascular disease is one of the main causes of death and disability in Liverpool
• Half of long-term smokers will eventually be killed by their addictions
• Within a year of quitting, the risk of heart attack is halved, and within two years the risk of stroke is reduced to that of a non-smoker
• The cost to the city is an estimated £60 million a year to the NHS and in sick days, litter and fires caused by cigarettes.