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Record number of smokers pack it in

Liverpool, lung cancer capital, sees 5,000 people quit

Written by . Published on July 5th 2011.

Record number of smokers pack it in

A record number of smokers in Liverpool quit last year with the help of the city's Stop Smoking Service, the service claims.

The latest figures show that over 5,000 people decided to give up cigarettes compared with fewer than 1,000 people quitting over the same period ten years ago.

Liverpool has the highest rate of lung cancer death and heart disease from smoking related illness in England. It costs the NHS in Liverpool approximately £12.7 million a year and kills around 1,000 people.

Dr Paula Grey, Director of Public Health for Liverpool said “Smoking is the city’s biggest killer so it is great news that the number of smokers in Liverpool is continuing to fall, and at unprecedented rates. Research shows that the percentage of people smoking in Liverpool has dropped from 35 per cent in 2005 to just under 26 per cent in 2011.”

The success, they say,  is partly due to the expansion of the Stop Smoking Service (funded by Liverpool PCT), which now has over 30 pharmacies and a specialist midwife providing support to smokers alongside approximately 60 Roy Castle Fag Ends community groups and the Roy Castle Fag Ends helpline.

In addition to Stop Smoking Services, work has also been under way  by Smoke Free Liverpool which has emphasized the need to prevent smoking in the first place. Working to de-glamorise and de-normalise tobacco use is having a positive impact with a lower number of young people taking up the habit in Liverpool than nationally or regionally.

Former bus driver Ian McNally became a stop smoking advisor after he quit smoking with a Roy Castle Fag Ends community group.

He said: “I thought about quitting on numerous occasions but never actually got round to it. I saw the number for the helpline on a bus, called up and was referred to a group.

"I couldn’t have done it without their marvellous support and advice they gave me."

Call 0800 195 2131 or visit www.stopsmoking.org.uk to find your nearest stop smoking session.


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