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Smoking kills over 1,000 in North Yorkshire every year

Smoking kills over 1,000 in North Yorkshire every year

Published at 6:01am 3rd September 2015. (Updated at 1:10pm 3rd September 2015)

Smoking is still the biggest preventable cause of ill health and early death in North Yorkshire, killing over 1,000 people in the county every year.

The stark message comes from North Yorkshire County Council as it gets ready to support Stoptober - the 28-day challenge which helps the nation's eight million smokers to stop.

Over three quarters of a million people have already taken part in the country's biggest quit attempt since it began, and research shows that stopping smoking for 28 days means you're five times more likely to stop for good.

County Councillor David Chance, portfolio holder for public health and prevention, said: "It is essential that smokers are encouraged to quit for the benefit of everyone in their family and to reduce the nation's 80,000 smoking-related deaths each year.

"Most people who smoke would like to quit, so the 28-day Stoptober challenge is a real opportunity to kick the habit. Last year, thousands of smokers joined in and are still smoke-free. And by not smoking, you are encouraging others, particularly young people, not to start. Taking part in the challenge is the first step to feeling healthier - and wealthier."

The New You NHS Smokefree Service's team of specialist stop smoking advisers can support smokers who want to take the Stoptober challenge.

The team offers weekly one-to-one and drop-in sessions at community centres across North Yorkshire, including Harrogate and Skipton.

It can also work with smokers who have turned to e-cigarettes to help them quit and now wish to break that habit too.

There is also a dedicated smoking in pregnancy service, New u 4 baby, offering support to women and their partners or family members as they prepare for the arrival of their baby.

Dr Lincoln Sargeant, Director of Public Health for North Yorkshire, said: "The start of Stoptober this year coincides with the introduction of new legislation in England and Wales that makes it illegal to smoke in vehicles with someone under the age of 18 present. Both the driver and the smoker can be fined if anyone smokes in the vehicle.

"The law is changing to protect children from the dangers of second-hand smoke and will come into effect on 1 October. Every time a child breathes in second-hand smoke, they breathe in thousands of chemicals, which put them at risk of serious conditions including meningitis, cancer and respiratory infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia.

"With one less place to smoke, there is one more reason to sign up to Stoptober."

Smokers can search 'Stoptober' online to order a free stop smoking pack.

To find out more about the drop-in sessions, phone the New You NHS Smokefree Service for North Yorkshire on 0300 303 1603, 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.