Smokers in Liverpool are being urged to take a deep breath and make the decision to give up for good on national No Smoking Day.
The annual celebration of kicking the habit takes place on Wednesday 13 March and the theme for this year is Quit Your Way. The campaign is urging those who want to say farewell to the fags to share their secret for quitting with others.
Liverpool has long led the way in encouraging residents to quit through a series of high-profile initiatives.
In 2004, Liverpool City Council campaigned for a change in the law to enable it to require enclosed public places and workplaces including public transport, company vehicles, restaurants and bars to be 100 per cent smoke-free. The pioneering move sparked a national debate and led to the Government introducing legislation. The move was influential in leading to smoking rates in the city being slashed by half in 2017.
But the fight didn’t end there and this year campaigners in Liverpool are more committed than ever to help people pack in.
Studies show that whilst two-thirds of smokers want to stop, nearly one in five adults in the UK continue to smoke.
Smokefree Liverpool is commissioned by the city council to provide services for those who want to stop.
Samantha O’Loughlin, who is the Regional Health Improvement Manager at Smokefree Liverpool, said: “No Smoking Day is the perfect time to motivate people to stop smoking. Smokefree Liverpool provides a free, local, tailor-made service to Liverpool residents using both face-to-face clinics, telephone support and online information.”
“As smoking remains one of the leading causes of premature death in Liverpool and the UK, providing free support to smokers can help to reduce the risk of people developing smoking-related illnesses.”
“With support, smokers are more likely to succeed in stopping smoking for good. That is why Smokefree Liverpool is regularly out and about not just on No Smoking Day, educating smokers on the range of local services and resources available to them.”
The benefits of quitting smoking are many – from reducing your risk of major illness through to improving your taste buds and saving money.
Run by Solutions 4 Health, the Smokefree service has 60 locations across the city for people to get free support. This includes advice from specialist stop smoking advisors, free carbon monoxide tests and products that can help.
Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Health, Cllr Paul Brant, said: “We have taken great strides to stamp out smoking in our city and many members of the community have answered the call and quit for their own health and wellbeing and for those around them.
“However there is more work to be done and smoking remains one of our biggest killers. Giving up smoking is the biggest single thing you can do to improve your health. It can prevent you skin from ageing prematurely and can keep your teeth white and healthy. The bonus is it could save you up to £2,000 a year. It may seem difficult at first but the end results are more than worth. This no smoking day we are urging everyone to never give up giving up.”
Smokefree Liverpool offers free support to stop smoking online, by telephone or in person.