With No Smoking Day presently underway today (Wednesday 8 March), people who smoke, vape or chew in Lancashire are being reminded that they can access specialised support sessions run by the Quit Squad for help to quit.
Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust’s Quit Squad is urging people wanting to stop smoking to benefit from expert help to take the first steps towards a healthier nicotine-free life. You are four times more likely to give up smoking with expert help and advice than alone. The Quit Squad holds drop in, appointment and group sessions across Lancashire. It also encourages people to protect their families by making a Smoke Free Pledge to ensure their cars and homes are smoke free; the home is now the main source of exposure to second hand smoke for children.
Gareth Beck from the Quit Squad said: “People don’t always realise the serious harm smoking can do to their health. Smoking is one of the biggest causes of avoidable death and in Lancashire alone there are an estimated 173,150 smokers. If you are a smoker and would like to give up you are four times more likely to stop with expert help and advice than alone and that’s all the more reason to work with us.
“We’ve got specially trained advisors who are friendly, approachable and will not judge you. We’re here to help and urge everyone to attend and come forward. In regards to second hand smoke, just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s harmless. Second hand smoke puts children and adults at risk of the same diseases as smokers, including cancer and heart disease. The best way to protect family and friends is to give up smoking and make a Smoke Free Pledge.”
To coincide with No Smoking Day, members of the Quit Squad are inviting local residents to take part in Carbon Monoxide (CO) screening as part of the ‘Know Your CO’ campaign this week. CO is a poisonous gas which is enters the bloodstream when people smoke, replacing some of the oxygen. This means that the heart has to work a lot harder to get oxygen around the body which causes shortness of breath, tiredness and damage to the heart.
Smoking is the biggest cause of premature death in England and each year it accounts for over 100,000 deaths in the UK and one in two long-term smokers will die prematurely from a smoking disease.
It is also a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease including stroke and heart attacks. Smokers are up to three times more likely to have a stroke than non-smokers. Smoking is particularly dangerous for people who have high blood pressure. They are five times more likely to have a stroke than smokers with normal blood pressure, and 20 times more than non-smokers with normal blood pressure.
For further details, telephone 0800 3286297, visit www.quitsquad.nhs.uk, or follow the Quit Squad on Twitter @LancashireCare #QuitSquad. For further information on Smoke Free Pledges telephone 01706 871740 or visit www.lancashiresmokefreehomes.co.uk.