Leeds is backing Stoptober

Smoking cessation practitioners Sarah Holbrey and Alan Brearley at Leeds Kirkgate Market.

Smoking cessation practitioners Sarah Holbrey and Alan Brearley at Leeds Kirkgate Market.

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health bosses in Leeds are backing the annual Stoptober quit smoking campaign as a ban on lighting up in cars comes into force today.

The 28-day stop smoking drive was launched at Leeds Kirkgate Market yesterday where health chiefs set up a stall offering support to people who want to kick the habit.

The start of Stoptober comes as new government legislation makes it an offence to smoke in cars carrying children aged under 18.

Coun Lisa Mulherin, chairwoman of Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “We are trying to inspire the next generation to be smoke-free, so everything we can do to help with that is a step in the right direction. With smoking causing the death of half the people who do it, quitting is one of the most effective ways to help people in Leeds improve their health.”

Research shows that those who stop smoking for 28 days are five times more likely to stay off cigarettes. Leeds NHS Stop Smoking Service clinics across the city will be running one-to-one sessions and group support programmes as part of the campaign.

Paul Lambert from Leeds City Council’s Public Health team said: “We’re down to record rates of smoking in Leeds, but we still have a long way to go. Stopping smoking is the best thing you can do to improve your health, so I’d really encourage people to take up the help on offer to quit as part of the Stoptober challenge.”

Stoptober, organised by Public Health England, will give people who sign up access to free support tools including a mobile phone app, text support and advice and tips on coping without cigarettes.

Raymond Manners.

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