Local smokers are being urged to kick the habit this New Year after shocking new figures reveal the risk to the heart.
Rochdale Borough Council is backing Public Health England's (PHE) New Year Health Harms campaign which aims to encourage smokers to give up smoking by focusing on the damage it does to the heart and circulatory system.
'Protect your health and your families' health'
The call comes as new figures from Public Health England (PHE) have revealed that every day 45 people die of cardiovascular disease (CVD) caused by smoking, over 16,500 per year.
CVD is a collective term for all diseases of the heart and circulation, including heart attacks and strokes; which are usually caused by the build-up of fatty deposits clogging up the arteries and blocking the flow of blood to vital organs, which can be fatal. It is one of the main causes of death and disability in the country.
Smoking increases the risk of developing heart disease by a quarter (24%) and doubles the risk of heart attack or stroke, so smokers are being advised that quitting is the single best thing they can do to protect their heart.
'Go smoke free and have healthier lives'
In the borough of Rochdale 22% of adults are smokers. From 2012 – 2014 smoking was the direct cause of 1,115 deaths.
Councillor Janet Emsley, Rochdale Borough Council's cabinet member for culture, health and wellbeing, said: "The New Year is a great time to give up the cigarettes to protect your health and your families' health from the harm caused by smoking. We have lots of support and tools available to suit your quitting needs, from our face to face stop smoking team to daily email support messages, so you don't need to go it alone. I urge all smokers to sign up today and make this year the year they go smoke free so they can have healthier lives with more energy and money to spend with friends and family."
'There are twice as many ex-smokers in the country as there are smokers'
This year's campaign from Public Health England has been inspired by introduction of standard cigarette packaging and heartfelt messages for primary school children in Coventry which focus on the dangers of smoking.
Professor Kevin Fenton, Public Health England's National Director for Health and Wellbeing, said: "It is fantastic news that there are now twice as many ex-smokers in the country as there are smokers, but that still leaves seven million that we are urging to quit this new year. We know that one of the main triggers that encourages people to quit smoking, alongside the health benefits, is their family. Working with children to encourage their family to quit is a new element to our annual January Smokefree campaign. I hope the childrens' heartfelt pleas will resonate with smokers around the country to encourage them to take advantage of the free campaign tools and support available, and to make 2017 the year they quit for good."
For free, proven support and a range of tools to help quit smoking contact the Living Well Team on 01706 751190 or visit NHS Smokefree.