Support for campaign to encourage smokers to quit today

A new campaign, supported by the county council, is encouraging smokers to quit today amid increased risk of severe illness from Covid-19. 

The campaign called 'Today is the Day' has been launched by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH). 

It calls 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 Derbyshire, responsible for around 1,300 deaths a year, and every year a further 1,400 children take up smoking in the county.

Cllr Carol Hart, DCC's Cabinet Member for Health, said: “Smoking is one of the biggest causes of preventable illness and early death in Derbyshire.

“We are working hard to encourage people to give quitting a go and our Live Life Better Derbyshire healthy lifestyle service can support smokers through their attempt to quit, with expert advice and medications to deal with cravings.”

Smokers are four times more likely to stop with help from their local stop smoking services and benefits to health can appear straight away.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic hit, 44,010 smokers in the East Midlands have quit smoking, according to new analysis by ASH and University College London.

However, a further 28,876 smokers across the region have tried to quit but have been unsuccessful.

The campaign, funded by the Department of Health and Social Care, will direct 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 East Midlands through a combination of radio, digital audio and online adverts.  

Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of ASH, said: “More than 44,010 smokers have succeeded in stopping smoking in the East Midlands since COVID-19 hit us, but that still leaves many thousands more smokers who have not. This campaign is designed to encourage those who’ve not yet succeeded, to wake up and decide today is the day to stop smoking.”

The county council's Live Life Better service can be accessed by calling 0800 085 2299 or 01629 538 200 or emailing llbd.info@derbyshire.gov.uk. You can also head to @DCCPublicHealth on Twitter, facebook.com/derbyshirepublichealth on Facebook or the website at www.livelifebetterderbyshire.org.uk

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