Smokers in Yorkshire are being urged to quit for good by signing up to a new virtual support programme.
The service, funded by Yorkshire Cancer Research and delivered by NHS specialists, provides 12 weeks of personalised support, including video or telephone calls and free nicotine replacement therapies or e-cigarettes delivered directly to those who take part.
Dr Kathryn Scott, Chief Executive at Yorkshire Cancer Research, said: “Lots of people want to stop smoking, but they’re not sure where to start. We want people to know they don’t have to go it alone.
“Evidence shows people are much more likely to quit for good with professional support. Our unique service is here to provide an extra helping hand and give people the best possible chance of success.”
Yorkshire Cancer Research is committed to reducing deaths from cancer in Yorkshire by helping the region’s 700,000 smokers 1,2 quit.
Yorkshire has the highest smoking rate in England, with more than 16% of people living in the region continuing to inhale dangerous chemicals contained in burned tobacco despite risks to long-term health1.
Each year, about 4,500 new cases of cancer in Yorkshire are linked to smoking, representing 15% of all cancers diagnosed3.
New evidence shows smokers are also more at risk of developing life-threatening complications from Covid-194.
A recent study by the UK arm of YouGov's international Covid-19 tracker and anti-smoking group Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) suggests more than 300,000 people in the UK may have quit smoking during the coronavirus crisis due to the risk of severe illness from the virus5.
Last week’s ban on menthol cigarettes - which are especially popular with younger people - is also expected to motivate smokers to give up6.
However, a further study suggests millions of smokers are smoking more than they were before lockdown7.
Dr Scott added: “There’s never been a better time to quit smoking. It remains the very best thing you can do for your long-term health and the health of those around you.”
To register your interest in the Yorkshire Cancer Research Stop Smoking Support programme, visit www.bit.ly/YorkshireStopSmoking.
1 Public Health England (2019). Local Tobacco Control Profiles. http://fingertips.phe.org.uk/profile/health-profiles [Last accessed May 2020].
2 Office for National Statistics (2017). Population Estimates for UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland: Mid-2017. https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/populationestimates/datasets/populationestimatesforukenglandandwalesscotlandandnorthernireland [Last accessed May 2020]
3 Brown, K, F., et al (2018), British Journal of Cancer and Cancer Data
4 Alqahtani JS, Oyelade T, Aldhahir AM, Alghamdi SM, Almehmadi M, Alqahtani AS, et al. (2020) Prevalence, Severity and Mortality associated with COPD and Smoking in patients with COVID-19: A Rapid Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. PLoS ONE 15(5): e0233147. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0233147
Contact: Nikki Brady, PR Manager, Yorkshire Cancer Research. Tel: 01423 877228. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org