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New scheme to help football fans kick the habit
11:27am Tuesday 19th February 2013 in News
FOOTBALL fans trying to quit smoking will be given an extra push by Tranmere Rovers.
The project, Smokefree Squad, was launched last Friday when Rovers played against Shrewsbury FC and will run until the end of March.
It will see club stewards handing out advice to fans who want to kick the habit while NHS experts will also be available at some home games to support them.
The scheme, funded by Wirral Council and NHS Wirral, will also offer a drop-in service at Tranmere Rovers' recreation centre every Thursday evening from 5-7pm.
Matthew Philpott, director of European Healthy Stadia Network, which has helped to develop the idea, said: "Whilst football grounds have been subject to smokefree legislation since 2007, there are significant opportunities to engage fans on match day who might be interested in reducing or quitting smoking.
"Sports stadia offer an ideal setting to deliver advice through 'brief interventions’ and we hope to demonstrate the scale of the opportunity through this campaign."
As part of Smokefree Squad, special campaign posters and pre-match activities have been introduced following consultation with fan groups.
Tranmere Rovers' chief executive Mick Horton said: "Through Smokefree Squad we aim to ensure that smokers who are motivated to quit are given the right support to help them succeed.
"This project gives us a unique opportunity to positively influence the lives of our fans, employees and those living in communities local to the club."