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Make 2017 the year to quit smoking for good

ByDave Stopher

Feb 2, 2017 #Smokers

North Yorkshire County Council is encouraging smokers to kick the habit for good after a new campaign from Public Health England (PHE) highlights the damaging effect smoking has on the heart.

New figures show that 45 people a day die of cardiovascular disease (CVD) caused by smoking – over 16,500 a year in England. CVD includes all diseases of the heart and circulation – including heart attacks and strokes. The disease is one of the main causes of death and disability in the country. It is usually associated with the build-up of fatty deposits clogging up the arteries, known as atherosclerosis, that can block the flow of blood to vital organs and eventually cause fatal heart attacks and strokes.

“Smoking increases the risk of heart disease by a quarter and doubles the risk of heart attack or stroke” said Councillor David Chance, North Yorkshire Executive Member for Public Health and Stronger Communities.

“Whilst the numbers of people smoking has decreased over the years in North Yorkshire 13.3% of North Yorkshire residents aged over 18 currently smoke and the County Council’s ‘Growing up in North Yorkshire’ survey showed that 6% of 15 year olds students regularly smoke.

“Quitting has been identified as the single best thing a smoker can do to protect their heart. If you do smoke, there’s never been a better time to quit – there’s so much support available to help you to succeed.”

This year, all cigarettes sold in the UK will be in standard packs with all attractive branding removed. From May, the packs will feature graphic picture and text health warnings, several of which illustrate how smoking causes cardiovascular disease and death. When standard packs were introduced in Australia quit rates increased, so NYCC and its partners across Yorkshire and Humber are joining forces to use the introduction of plain packaging to encourage smokers to quit for good.

North Yorkshire County Council and its partners are supporting the Breathe 2025 initiative. Breathe 2025 is the overarching campaign brand for work and aspirations to eliminate tobacco-related harms and health inequalities across Yorkshire and The Humber. The vision is to see the next generation of children born and raised in a place free from tobacco, where smoking is unusual. For more information visit www.breathe2025.org.uk

North Yorkshire residents including young people 12+ who wish to quit smoking can access a range of free support from Smokefreelife North Yorkshire at www.smokefreelifenorthyorkshire.co.uk.  They can also  call 0800 2465215 or 01609 663023 or text QUIT to 66777. A range of support is available to suit the individual, including group sessions, one-to-one support, telephone support, and medication.