South Leeds has some of highest smoking rates in the city. Now health bosses are asking smokers – how can we help you quit?
The organisation has commissioned Leeds Beckett University’s Centre for Health Promotion Research to consult with both smokers and non-smokers living in the south and east of the city to help shape local support services and public health campaigns.
The highest prevalence of smoking across the city is among the population of south and east Leeds with more than one if four (27%) adults classed as smokers. Referrals into stop smoking services are higher than in the rest of the city and increased in 2013/14 compared to the year before. However, numbers of local residents trying to quit and actually quitting through the Leeds NHS Stop Smoking Service have reduced in recent years.
Despite decades of hard-hitting campaigns, the national smoking ban in 2007 and advertising restrictions placed on the tobacco industry, smoking is still the main cause of preventable disease and premature death in the UK. The latest figures show that 79,100 or 18% of deaths in adults aged 35 and over in England can be attributed to smoking. Studies also suggest that the damaging effects of second hand smoke, particularly on children, may have been underestimated in the past.
“Everybody knows that smoking is bad for you and people around you – those messages are heard loud and clear and have been for many years. But it is also an extremely addictive habit and we know many people in our area are finding it hard to quit. We want to find out; what are the main barriers preventing people in south and east Leeds from quitting and how can we better support them.”
Leeds NHS Stop Smoking Service is a free service open to anyone who would like to stop smoking and has a proven track record in helping smokers to quit – smokers are four times as likely to quit with support from the service than by willpower alone. The service runs more 40 clinics across Leeds and offers group, one-to-one and drop-in sessions.
If you live in south or east Leeds you can take part by completing an online questionnaire. Smokers and non-smokers are invited to get involved and anyone who completes it will be invited to take part in a £50 prize draw.
Got to: bit.ly/smoking_survey to take part.
To get help with quitting from Leeds NHS Stop Smoking Service call 0800 169 4219, text SMOKEFREE to 60066 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.