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Wirral smokers urged to stub it out in new campaign
8:00am Saturday 22nd September 2012 in News
SMOKERS across Wirral are being urged to take part in the first ever mass-quit attempt launched by the Department of Health.
Stopober, which will run throughout October, offers smokers a free preparation pack and 28-day Quit Calendar.
Smokers will also receive support and encouragement through a daily messaging service, inspiration from celebrity mentors, and expert advice via a Stoptober app, motivational text message and a Facebook page.
Fiona Johnstone, director of Public Health for Wirral said “We want to help as many people as possible in Wirral to become smokefree.
"There is a wide arrange of support available. For example our local stop smoking services are doing a great job, and last year in Wirral 3,101 people successfully quit with their help.
"With the extra support Stoptober provides, this is a great opportunity for smokers to notice the benefits and hopefully become ex-smokers for good.”
Among those supporting the campaign is delivery driver Graham ‘Macca’ McConnell from Eastham.
He had almost given up on quitting after 40 years of smoking and multiple attempts but with the support of Wirral Stop Smoking Service delivered by Wirral Community NHS Trust, he has finally won the battle.
He said “I’ve tried so many different ways to quit smoking including hypnotherapy but nothing’s worked and I was ready to give up.
"But I thought I should try once more for the sake of my health. Several of my family have been affected by smoking related illnesses and I didn’t want the same to happen to me.
“I visited my local stop smoking service and was put in touch with an advisor who was really supportive and took the time to listen.
"My GP prescribed some medication which helped to suppress my cravings. I used to smoke at least 15 a day but I’ve not had a cigarette since 10 June, in fact I don’t even think about having a cigarette these days.
"I’m determined not to smoke again and have recommended the stop smoking service to my work colleague, his partner and their sons – if I can stop so can others. An extra nudge with campaigns such as Stoptober can only help smokers.”
Andrea Crossfield, director of Tobacco Free Futures, the North West regional body for tobacco control said “Smoking is still Wirral’s biggest killer, claiming the lives of around 693per year.
"These are people’s wives, brothers, fathers and daughters. We know quitting smoking can be tough.
"Stoptober is about everyone coming together to support smokers to kick a habit that ultimately kills half of all its long term users. If you’ve been thinking about quitting, now is the time to do it.”