More than 4,600 people across Cheshire West live with chronic smoking-related lung diseases

6 January 2016

Smokers are being urged to quit after figures show that between 2014 and 2015 there were 4,656 people in Cheshire West suffering from the debilitating illness Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

Figures also show that between 2012 and 2014 COPD led to 464 deaths across the borough.

Cheshire West and Chester Council is supporting Public Health England’s (PHE) New Year campaign and encouraging smokers to contact their local stop smoking service and quit for good this New Year to improve their health and decrease the number of people suffering from COPD in the future.

COPD is the umbrella term for serious lung conditions that include chronic bronchitis and emphysema. People with COPD have difficulties breathing, primarily due to the narrowing of their airways and destruction of lung tissue.

Typical symptoms include breathlessness when active, a persistent cough and frequent chest infections. Large numbers of people with COPD are unable to undertake everyday activities such as climbing stairs, housework or gardening; with many even unable to take a holiday because of their disease[i].

Councillor Louise Gittins, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Wellbeing said: “I urge everyone in Cheshire West and Chester who would like to quit smoking to use the New Year as a new start to become smokefree for good.

“Quitting is the single best thing you can do for your health and you don’t need to go through your quit journey alone. Our local stop smoking service is here to help you and you can also join together and quit with friends, family and colleagues to help you in your quit attempt.” To highlight the impact of this progressive and debilitating disease, PHE has released a new short film featuring Olympian Iwan Thomas, whose mother has recently been diagnosed with COPD (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQuARMhr9lo). Together with four smokers Iwan takes part in an experiment to illustrate the difficulties of living with advanced COPD and urges people to quit this New Year.

Smokers looking to quit are being encouraged to contact their local stop smoking service where they are four times more likely to quit for good with expert advice, support and medication on prescription. Suggested steps for preparing to quit include:

1. Contact your local stop smoking service to set up a meeting
2. Set a quit date
3. Tell family and friends you plan to quit to gain their support and help
4. Anticipate and plan for challenges while quitting
  • Think about how you may feel when you first quit but remember that this is temporary, no matter how powerful it feels at the time.
  • Know your smoking triggers (specific people, places, or activities that make you feel like smoking) so you can learn to deal with them.
  • Plan ahead and come up with a list of short activities you can do when you get a craving.
5. Remove cigarettes and other tobacco from your home‚ car‚ and work. 

Andrea Crossfield, Chief Executive of North West social enterprise Tobacco Free Futures said: ““Research shows that two thirds of smokers want to stop smoking and New Year is a great opportunity to make a change and quit for good.

“Quitting this January, either through free online support or through your local stop smoking service, will immediately result in health improvements including a better sense of smell, taste and more energy.

“Longer term, ex-smokers reduce their risk of stroke, heart disease and lung cancer, as well as protecting others from secondhand smoke. As well as improving your health, a 20-a-day smoker will save on average £250 a month. Don’t delay, make 2016 the year that you make a change and put your health first.”
 
If you would like to quit smoking contact your local stop smoking service on: You can also search ‘Smokefree’ online or visit nhs.uk/smokefree for the full range of free tools and support.

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