HEALTH teams took to the streets of Burnley to encourage hundreds of smokers to stub out their cigarettes for good.
Shocking figures suggest up to 30% of people in Burnley smoke compared to 24% in the North-West so special Stop Smoking teams were in the town centre to flag up free services available in the area.
The move to get people to kick the habit was part of “No Smoking Day” led by NHS East Lancashire’s Stop Smoking health improvement service.
The advisers were also armed with carbon monoxide testers which allowed smokers to see how much of the chemical they had in their body.
Nearly 450 smokers were offered on-the-spot advice throughout East Lancashire, many of whom were referred to their local Stop Smoking Service.
The anti-smoking offensive comes as research from the Office of National Statistics shows that there is a greater proportion of smokers in Burnley than across the North-West as a whole.
Nearly 30% of Burnley residents smoke, compared to 24% of the wider North-West population.
The ONS also revealed that 63% of smokers want to quit, but find it difficult to go a day without smoking. Janet Walton, head of public health development, commented: “The results from the ONS show just how important it is to make smokers aware of the Stop Smoking Service. It could be that many of the smokers who find it difficult to go without cigarettes haven’t received support. You are four times more likely to quit with the support of your free, local Stop Smoking Service.
She added: “So far we have made a real difference in stubbing out smoking in East Lancashire. Since April 2010, nearly 2,900 people quit smoking after accessing the service.”
Brian Lee, from Nelson, quit 10 years ago with the help of the Stop Smoking Service. He said: “I’m really happy to have quit, not just because of the health benefits, but also because the amount of money I have saved over the years paid for all my double glazing!”