Figures show smoking will kill one in two – don’t be the 1, now is the time to quit

City of York Council is supporting a regional stop smoking campaign, don’t be the 1, and encouraging those that want to quit to contact the council’s YorWellbeing service.

The “Don’t Be The 1” campaign from Breathe 2025 highlights how one in two smokers[i] will die from a smoking related disease, some in their 40s and 50s and is asking smokers to quit for the sake of their family. These odds are infinitely greater than the reported risks of being hit by a bus (around two in a million) or the chance of becoming a millionaire on the National Lottery (around one in ten million).

Worryingly, surveys show nine out of ten smokers underestimate the one in two risk, with around half believing their risk to be one in ten or less.

As well as York, the don’t be the 1 campaign is running in Hull, East Riding, North Lincs, North East Lincs and North Yorkshire for four weeks.

For more information visit , those who want to quit in York are asked to contact the council’s YorWellbeing service on 01904 553377 or email

Councillor Carol Runciman, Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care said: “Smoking can have long lasting and devastating impacts on people’s health, which is why we have joined together with our partners and are supporting the don’t be the 1 campaign.

“In the run up to Stoptober there are more ways to quit than ever before and we are urging people to give it a go. Studies show you are more than four times more likely to quit with help. Our YorWellbeing service is there to help people quit and I would urge smokers who want to quit to get in touch.”

Dr Caroline Everett, Consultant Respiratory Physician, York Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Stopping smoking is one of the single most effective things you can do to improve your health and life expectancy. Quitting smoking early can prevent the onset of many different life-limiting and life-threatening health conditions such as COPD, heart disease and cancer. However, it is never too late to give up.

“We also have lots of evidence from studies in many different conditions which show that, even once a smoking-related health condition has developed, people who quit live longer and with better health-status than those who continue to smoke.”

Quit smoking medication available in York

Alternative medication to be made available for those quitting smoking

Additional support is set to be made available to residents who are trying to drop the habit and quit smoking.

Cllr Carol Runciman, Liberal Democrat Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Health, has given the go ahead for Varenicline (Champix) to be included as part of a new pharmacotherapy support package to users of our Yorwellbeing service.

Currently, Varenicline is only available through a private prescription from your GP or via an online pharmacy.

However, with the expansion of the current service offer, any individual who would like to stop smoking can be assessed for eligibility to the hardship fund and if they qualify for either Nicotine Replacement Therapy or Varenicline, they will be provided with an initial 2 weeks supply, followed by another 2 weeks if required.  Research suggests that if an individual can quit smoking for 4 weeks, their chances of dropping the habit for good are increased five fold.

Council offers free stop smoking support to help kick the habit

smoking_ceilingWant to stop smoking to mark the start of the New Year? From January 2017, City of York Council will be offering free support for all York residents to stop smoking.

The sessions come as a campaign to highlight the damaging effect smoking has on the heart by Public Health England and revealed that smoking accounts for almost 78,000 deaths a year Stopping smoking can save someone who smokes 20 cigarettes a day over £2,500 in a year and the council is asking residents who want to stop to get in touch.

As part of the council’s YorWellbeing service, which looks to help residents improve their health and wellbeing, courses will be provided to help you to change your smoking behaviours, as well as advise you which medications to buy, if necessary.

Recent studies have found that you are three times more likely to quit with help and support and that between two weeks to three months after stopping your heart attack risk starts to drop and your lung function begins to improve.

Throughout 2017 the council will be offering courses to help residents stop smoking. The first course takes place on Wednesday 11 January from 6pm at West Offices, for more information or to book call 01904 553377. Places are limited so residents must book in advance. Following this first course, further courses will take place regularly across the city in the coming months.

If you are pregnant and smoking you are particularly encouraged to get in touch for friendly help and support to quit.  For pregnant women the council is also offering 12 weeks of free nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) to help you through stopping smoking.

Councillor Carol Runciman, Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care said: “These sessions offer a great opportunity for those wanting to stop smoking to get specialist advice and support. Quitting smoking can have huge benefits on health and wellbeing as well as save residents a lot of money, anyone interested in these courses can call 01904 553377.”

Anyone looking to stop smoking is asked to call 01904 553377 or visit for more information.

York launches hard-hitting campaign that highlights 16 cancers linked to smoking

smoking_ceilingEvery month 18 people from York area discover they have cancer caused by smoking.

While most smokers know about the link between smoking and lung cancer, many people do not realise that smoking is linked with not one but 16 different cancers, including cancers of the mouth, nasal cavities, pharynx and larynx, stomach, kidney, bowel, liver, pancreas, ureter, oesophagus, cervix, bladder and ovaries as well as myeloid leukaemia.

Quit16 is a hard-hitting campaign that highlights the 16 cancers associated with smoking and asks people to quit.  It is the first region-wide anti-smoking campaign that includes advertising on television and online, by local tobacco control alliances, collaborating as Breathe 2025, and supported by Cancer Research UK.

It is based on a campaign first developed and run in Australia in 2014 by the Cancer Council Western Australia, with 74% of smokers who saw it seriously considering quitting and 20% discussing quitting with a health professional as a result.

Yorkshire and the Humber has the highest adult smoking rates in the country, with 20% of adults still smoking.

York launches Breathe 2025 campaign to inspire a smokefree generation

City of York Council is urging people and organisations across York to sign up and support Breathe 2025, a new campaign to inspire children to grow up smoke-free and protected from health harms caused by tobacco.
click to view video

click to view video

While the region has the highest adult smoking prevalence in England (20.1% compared to an England average of 18%), only one in eight 15-year-olds smoke and the proportion of young smokers is dropping.

Within the next decade there could be a generation of children that don’t smoke.    .

City of York Council’s Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Health Councillor Carol Runciman said: “We want children who have started school this year to be the pioneers of a smokefree generation: today’s five year olds can be smokefree at 15 when they are preparing for their GCSEs and so can all the year groups following them.

“They can be smokefree when they leave school or college and as adults. Breathe 2025 is about how all of us can inspire and help them to make that happen.”
The campaign is being run by a collaboration of partners across Yorkshire and the Humber, including City of York Council and Public Health England.

People and organisations are being asked to show their support by going to the campaign website or Facebook page and signing up to one or more simple, practical actions. This could be pledging to watch and share the Breathe 2025 video, or promising to display a Breathe 2025 poster.  There are a range of simple actions to choose from, as individuals or on behalf of an organisation such as a school, GP or local business.

Councillor Runciman continues: “Giving children and young people the best start in life is a priority for City of York Council, parents, family members and many other organisations and communities in York – and not smoking is a great start so please go to the Breathe 2025 website and show your support.”

City of York Council’s Interim Director of Public Health, Sharon Stoltz said: “Evidence suggests that if young people don’t start using tobacco by the age of 26 they will almost certainly never start, so we have a great opportunity here to transform the health of our region and we can do it within the next 10 years.

“It is estimated that smoking in York costs society around £50.1m annually and smoking breaks cost businesses in York £24.2m each year.  Around one in two smokers die from a smoking-related illness.  If we can prevent young people from smoking that’s not just an investment in their health as individuals, it’s an investment in a healthier future for everyone.”

The Breathe 2025 website is at

Surprisng research results into smoking published

In the build up to this year’s No Smoking Day (March 11th) new research has been published that shows that smokers have a 70% increased risk of anxiety and depression when compared with non-smokers, despite the commonly held perception that lighting up is a stress reliever.

Image result for No smoking day photos

Interestingly, levels of anxiety and depression reported by long-term ex-smokers were indistinguishable from people who have never smoked and much lower than current smokers. This suggests that quitting smoking could help people combat anxiety and depression and improve mental health.

New figures released this week show that estimate smoking rates among young people in York are above the national average.

Commissioned by Public Health England and NICE, and modelled by the University of Portsmouth and the University of Southampton, the figures are estimates of youth smoking rates for every local authority, ward and local NHS level – based on factors known to predict young people smoking.

The data will help City of York Council and other organisations in the city to respond to levels of smoking and is available on PHE’s Local Health website.

The council welcomes Public Health England’s ambition is to reduce smoking rates among young people to secure a tobacco-free generation. In York an estimated 14.54% of 15 year olds are regular or occasional smokers, compared to the national estimate of 12.71%.

The figures mirror adult smoking rates which are falling less rapidly in some areas, with smoking rates considerably higher in deprived communities. Smoking is the single biggest cause of the difference in life expectancy between the richest and poorest in England.

Nearly eight million people still smoke, with 90% having started before the age of 19.  There are 28,888 people who smoke in York.

City of York Council’s Acting Director of Public Health, Julie Hotchkiss said: “Stopping smoking is the single best thing you can do to improve your health, but not starting smoking at all is even better.  If we can stop young people starting smoking before the age of 19 then they stand the best chance of enjoying the health, social and financial benefits of a smoke-free life.

“Although the national modelling shows the number of 15-year-olds who smoke often or regularly in York to be higher than average, last summer’s survey of Year 10 students showed the rates were about in line with the national average.  However City of York Council is aiming to prevent all children from taking up smoking in the next few years, to create a smoke-free generation.”

With the help of North Yorkshire and York’s NHS Smokefree Service “New You”, you’re up to four times more likely to quit for good.  For help to quit smoking telephone 0300 303 1603.

Stop the rot: new campaign highlights how cigarettes ‘rot’ the body from the inside

City of York Council is backing a powerful new campaign that has been launched this week to highlight how smoking damages the body and causes a slow and steady decline in a process akin to rotting.

It follows a new expert review that highlights the multiple impacts that toxic ingredients in cigarettes can have on your body.

Whilst many smokers know that smoking causes cancer and harms the lungs and heart, the new report highlights how it also damages:

  • Bones and musclesSmoking causes progressive harm to the musculoskeletal system, and has a negative impact on bone mineral density. Harms include:
  • 25% increased risk of any fracture and a 40% increase in the risk of hip fractures among men
  • Slower healing after injury
  • Increased risk of back and neck pain, leading to a 79% increase in chronic back pain and a 114% increase in disabling lower back pain
  • Significant cause of rheumatoid arthritis and can reduce the impact of treatment
  • Brain – Current smokers are 53% more likely to develop cognitive impairment than non-smokers and 59% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease
  • Teeth – Smoking increases the likelihood of tooth loss and decay
  • Eyes – Smoking damages sight by increasing the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) by 78%-358% and increasing the risk of age-related cataracts

With New Year’s resolutions approaching and two thirds of smokers saying they want to quit, new adverts are being used to graphically illustrate the degeneration that smoking causes.

Tomorrow (Wednesday) is No Smoking Day

12th March is no smoking day and residents are being encouraged to think before they smoke in front of their children.


Figures released recently by the British Lung Foundation (BLF) show around185,000 children between the ages of 11-15 in England are exposed to potentially toxic concentrations of second-hand smoke in their family car every day or most days.[1] That’s the equivalent of more than 6,100 classrooms full of children[2]]

Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones, Director of Health and Wellbeing at City of York Council said: “These figures demonstrate that children being exposed to second-hand smoke when travelling in a car is still a big problem and we would encourage people to use No Smoking Day as an opportunity to think about stopping smoking in front of their children and quitting altogether.  Children are more vulnerable to the dangers of second-hand smoke compared to adults due to their faster breathing, smaller lungs and less developed immune systems.”

The North Yorkshire NHS Stop Smoking Service currently has the following weekly sessions in York: