Wakefield Council and partners support No Smoking Day on 13 March

Thursday, March 07, 2024

We and our partners are encouraging smokers across the district to try to quit smoking this No Smoking Day (13 March).
We are working with Yorkshire Smokefree Wakefield and other organisations to encourage more residents to go smoke free.
This year’s campaign highlights that two in three smokers will die of a smoking related disease.

“We and our partners are here to offer help and advice to enable people to try and give up smoking. If you use a stop smoking support service you are three times more likely to succeed in quitting, than if you do this alone. So why not give it a try, this year?”
Research shows that people are more likely to start smoking if parents, caregivers or friends are smokers.

Cllr Maureen Cummings

Cabinet Member for Communities, Poverty and Health

Cllr Maureen Cummings

Steve Turnbull, Interim Director of Public Health, said: “Quitting smoking is the best thing you can do for your health at any age. Giving up not only helps you but it’s also a way to prevent future generations taking up smoking.
“We want to promote and encourage a healthy district. Our plan is for the next generation of children born and raised in our district to see smoking as unusual.”
Smoking increases the risk of developing illness including diabetes, cancer, heart attack and stroke. 
Thanks to local and national initiatives there has been good progress in reducing smoking rates across our District. Only 1 in 8 adults now smoke in the District – which is just less than the England average. 
In Wakefield, residents can get expert advice about quitting smoking from their local stop smoking service (Yorkshire Smokefree Wakefield). 
People are three times as likely to quit smoking than by using willpower alone if they use a local stop smoking service. 
Wakefield Stop Smoking Service 
To contact the Stop Smoking Service in Wakefield go to: https://wakefield.yorkshiresmokefree.nhs.uk/ 
Or call: 
0800 612 0011 free from landlines 
0330 660 1166 free from most mobiles
Or visit www.nhs.uk/better-health/quit-smoking/ to find out where you can get free access to the latest quitting aids, apps, and information.
Case Study
James Sharples, aged 51, from the Wakefield district. 

"At school I was a runner, but when I got to university all that went out of the window. Somewhere along the way I started smoking, despite previously being very anti-smoking, and before I knew it, I had a 20 a day habit.
“Over the next 30 years, I tried several different ways to give up with limited success. I did manage to reduce the amount I smoked daily but could never seem to take that final step.
“Things came to a head health wise in June last year when I was diagnosed with a case of Bell’s Palsy and High Blood pressure. I was finally scared enough to do something about my health, getting off the sofa to do some exercise and following a Mediterranean style diet.
“Over the next 5 months, I lost four stone and walked 2,700 kilometres but the one thing I couldn’t do was stop reaching for a smoke after every walk.
“I started running again in October last year and started doing Park-Run in November with my daughter. Even then I’d get home and reach for the packet of cigarettes!! 
“As I got closer to the anniversary of my health scare, I decided that I’d try to do something I’d done many years ago which was to run Yorkshire’s Three Peaks. It’s a demanding walk, but running is a whole different game. 
“I’d been thinking about stopping since that health scare but hadn’t found my reason to stop, this challenge was just what I needed. 
"I’d read that there was an NHS service to provide support to stop smoking so during a checkup for my condition, I asked about it. And my GP referred me to the service.
“That’s where I met Fazila. She explained how the service could help, arranged regular calls to monitor progress and based on her assessment prescribed a couple of weeks of patches.
“I got rid of my remaining cigarettes and started using the patches. Honestly, that was harder than losing four stones. I was so used to going outside for a smoke that I would find myself outside without a smoke!
“Over the next couple of weeks that urge reduced a lot. The regular calls helped massively, knowing that someone else was there to talk to.
“At the end of July, I walked the Three Peaks, it was at this point I felt confident enough to stop using the patches. I was finally free from the Nicotine!!
“I carried on with the running and at the beginning of September achieved my goal of running the three peaks.
"It’s been an interesting journey to get here, but it’s far from over. Quitting smoking, losing weight and generally taking better care of myself has given me a better quality of life. It’s also allowed me to set a new set of goals, the next one being to run the Leeds Marathon with my daughter next May.”
“This week I did the Carbon Monoxide measurement my reading was 2 parts per million (or in normal speak – the same as a non-smoker).”

Events taking place on No Smoking Day 13 March 2024

•    The foyer at Wakefield One: 9am - 11am. Staff are available to talk about the dangers of smoking and encourage people to quit.
•    A stall at Pontefract Market: 9am - 2pm. Information, including leaflets and literature. 
•    Maybush Medical Centre: 9am -12 noon for patients visiting the medical centre that day, offering information and guidance on the Stop Smoking Service.
•    At Drury Lane Health and Wellbeing Centre:11-1pm engaging with patients and to help raise awareness about the dangers of smoking and encourage people to quit.
•    At Tesco Hemsworth: 1.30- 4pm. In addition to promoting the Stop Smoking Service, staff will offer carbon monoxide tests to both staff and shoppers. 

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