Wakefield Council supports campaign calling for smokers to quit today

15/07/2020, PR-9479

Wakefield Council is supporting a new advertising campaign – 'Today is the Day' – which encourages smokers to quit today.

Cllr Faith Heptinstall
Cllr Faith Heptinstall

​The new campaign, launched by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), features a heartfelt plea from respiratory doctor Ruth Sharrock for smokers to quit today to protect themselves from smoking related diseases and increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

Smoking is the largest cause of preventable death in Wakefield, where the average number of deaths attributable to smoking every year is estimated to be around 620.

Whilst smoking prevalence is falling in Wakefield, it is still estimated that around 850 children take up smoking each year.

Cllr Faith Heptinstall, Wakefield Council's Cabinet Member for Adults, Health and Wellbeing, said: "Smoking remains the biggest killer in Wakefield and we want to encourage all smokers to give quitting a go. Quitting smoking can rapidly reduce your risk of a range of life threatening illnesses and our dedicated local stop smoking service can support you to stop smoking with expert help and advice."

Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, 92,681 smokers in Yorkshire and the Humber have quit smoking, according to new analysis by ASH and University College London.

Anna Hartley, Wakefield's Director of Public Health, said: "The coronavirus pandemic has made us all conscious of the need to protect ourselves, our families and loved ones. If you smoke, now is the time to quit to keep yourself healthy and out of hospital. It's never too late to quit and experience health benefits, even if you are already unwell. Quitting smoking is the best thing smokers can do to improve their health so I'm proud to be supporting the Today is the Day campaign."

However, a further 49,424 smokers across the region have tried to quit but been unsuccessful. The campaign, funded by the Department of Health and Social Care, will be directing smokers to effective forms of support to quit on the NHS Smokefree website. The campaign builds on successful campaigns in the North East and Greater Manchester and will target smokers across Yorkshire and the Humber through a combination of radio, digital audio and online adverts. 

See the radio and digital audio advert here: https://bit.ly/2ZcmGTx

To contact the Stop Smoking Service in Wakefield go to: https://wakefield.yorkshiresmokefree.nhs.uk/ or call: 0800 612 0011 free from landlines or 0330 660 1166 free from most mobiles.