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Twenty-eight days later... you could be a non-smoker
Monday 16th September, 2013

Twenty-eight days later... you could be a non-smoker
Marilyn Cronshaw from Wigan who did smoke 60 cigarettes a day but hasn’t had one in eight months

Smokers in Wigan Borough are being encouraged to stub out their cigarettes as a national campaign calling on people to quit for 28 days is launched.

Stoptober is calling on people to give up for four weeks during October. Research suggests smokers who get through 28 days without having a cigarette dramatically increase their chances of stopping for good.

Smokers who sign-up for Stoptober will get a “stop smoking” pack and receive daily text messages with advice and encouragement. They will also be able to download a mobile phone app and chat to fellow quitters via social media.

Wigan Council and Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust are backing the Stoptober campaign, which is being run for a second year by Public Health England. Smoking is the single biggest cause of “preventable” deaths in Wigan Borough. In 2009, 606 residents died prematurely because of smoking.

Every day a person goes without smoking adds as much as six hours to their life - that equals seven days over four weeks. Research also suggests if you stop smoking for 28 days you are five times more likely to kick the habit for good. Quitting could also save smokers as much as £150 a month.

Councillor Keith Cunliffe, Wigan Council cabinet member for health, said: “During Stoptober last year, 160,000 people quit smoking. If you’ve been thinking about quitting, now is the time to do it. It isn’t always an easy journey but with the support of friends, family and your local stop smoking service, everyone can help each other to reduce the number of smokers in Wigan Borough.”

Marilyn Cronshaw used to smoke up to 60 cigarettes a day. The sixty-year-old from Wigan started smoking at 15 and ended up paying £56 a week to feed her habit. She’s not had a cigarette for eight months.

She was helped to quit by the Wigan Stop Smoking Service, run by Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust who helped more than 3500 people to stop smoking in 2012. Marilyn got one-to-one support, a tailored step-by-step plan and access to nicotine replacement therapy.

She said: “Smoking urges come in waves but they soon pass. If you set yourself goals as a reward for not smoking you can stay a quitter. I recommend taking part in Stoptober and getting in touch with the stop smoking service.”

New figures released by campaigning group Tobacco Free Futures estimates there are 56,951 smokers in Wigan and smoking tobacco costs the council £94million through loss of productivity due to early death and illness, NHS costs, litter and fires.

Andrea Crossfield, Chief Executive of Tobacco Free Futures said: “Stoptober is a great chance to break away from this addiction and start to feel the health and financial benefits of becoming smoke free.

“As well as the money saved from stopping smoking – an average of £4,000 a year for two people who smoke – quitters will start to notice immediate health improvements including a better sense of smell and taste and more energy. Longer term, those who stop smoking reduce their risk of heart disease and lung cancer as well as protecting others from their second-hand smoke.”

Stoptober 2013 starts on Tuesday 1 October. For more information and to sign up visit www.smokefree.nhs.uk/Stoptober or call 01942 481712 to speak to the stop smoking service.

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