Campaign launched to inspire people to put smoking behind them

If you’re a smoker, quitting is the single most important thing you can do to improve your health.

We know it’s easier said than done, so Public Health Dorset and LiveWell Dorset are working together to support people to make this change.

We are encouraging people who would like to stop smoking to think about their reasons for wanting to quit and make a pledge to take action in 2016.

Year-on-year thousands of people quit smoking during the months of January. Evidence shows that people who make a pledge and receive support are more likely to be successful.

The campaign, called Make Tobacco History, aims to inspire smokers to quit or cut down by telling the stories of other local people who have either quit smoking or who will be attempting to quit during January. These are stories about the struggles that people have had, how they’ve overcome them and how much better life can be after smoking.

Every smoker has their own reasons for wanting to quit with family, money and health all being strong motivating factors.

Dr David Phillips, director of Public Health Dorset, said: “The story of smoking cigarettes is largely a story of the 20th century, when it is estimated more than 100 million lives were lost as a result of smoking. Over the last thirty years, we’ve seen a dramatic reduction in the proportion of people who smoke, and in many of our communities smoking is now quite rare.

“For individuals as well as for communities, there is now an opportunity to assign smoking to the past once and for all, breaking the link with the next generation. The benefits of quitting for individual lives are huge, but each successful quitter also helps to draw the curtain on smoking for good, and the benefits of a smoke-free society for future generations are enormous.

“Taking that next step to becoming an ex-smoker is no easy task, but by making a firm commitment, getting the right support, and by knowing you’re not alone in trying to quit, your chances of being successful are greatly improved.”

Public Health Dorset recently set up a new service, called LiveWell Dorset, to support people to make changes to their lifestyle. It is a free, local health and wellbeing service that will give you practical advice and support to improve your chance of success.

LiveWell Dorset’s specialist coaches are there for you, whatever route you decide to take and, with the support, you are four times more likely to be successful in quitting smoking than if you were to go it alone.

They can work with you to come up with a plan for cutting down or quitting, using medication, e-cigarettes and support.

The campaign will be running throughout January through local media, radio and messages on social media.

Find more information, support and declare your reason to quit smoking at the Make Tobacco History website or follow LiveWell Dorset on Twitter, Facebook or use the #mth16 hashtag.

Smoking factfile

More than 570,000 people have died in England in the last eight years from a smoking related condition – that is 195 people each day – but successfully quitting has significant health benefits straight away:

  • Within 20 minutes your blood pressure and pulse rate return to normal.
  • It takes just 24 hours after you have quit smoking for the carbon monoxide to be eliminated from the body.
  • After one year the risk of dying from heart disease is reduced by half.
  • Within two years the risk of stroke is reduced to half and within five years it will be the same as a non-smoker.
  • Within 10 years your risk of developing lung cancer falls to half that of a smoker.
  • After stopping for 15 years your risk of heart disease is similar to that of someone who has never smoked.
  • If you are parent who smokes, your children are three times more likely to pick up the habit.
  • If you smoke 20 cigarettes a day, you can save £3,000 in a year by quitting.

Published on:
21/12/2015, 10:51