City backs ‘Stoptober’ campaign

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The Stoptober campaign in Liverpool © NHS Smokefree/Facebook

The Stoptober campaign in Liverpool © NHS Smokefree/Facebook

A local NHS Trust is encouraging staff and patients to take part in ‘Stoptober’, a campaign which encourages people to stop smoking during the month of October and beyond.

With 4,700 lives lost from smoking in Merseyside every year, Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust is giving its strong backing to the campaign.

Director of Public Health for Liverpool, Paula Grey, said: “Quitting smoking is the very best thing you can do to improve your health and we know that the majority of smokers in Liverpool want to quit.”

Ex-smoker and now a marathon runner, Rory Coleman, is supporting the campaign by running 28 miles a day for 28 days across the UK in an attempt to show the public the benefits of stubbing out.

Coleman told the Liverpool Echo: “It was important for me to do something to support ‘Stoptober’.

“Twenty years ago I was a chain-smoking alcoholic who could barely run to the corner shop let alone a mile. To see the difference that stopping smoking has made to my life has been overwhelming and I want more people to take the first initial steps to quitting.”

His run through Liverpool proved a massive success, with hundreds of people turning out to show their support. One Facebook user wrote: “28 marathons in 28 days? I’m so impressed! Total respect 4 u Rory Coleman – good luck x”

As well as this, the NHS will be offering free one-to-one advice throughout the four weeks. Quitters can also sign up for daily motivational text messages.

Andrea Crossfield, the North West regional body for tobacco control said: “If you’ve been thinking about quitting, now is the time to do it.”

About Lisa Kerr, JMU Journalism