Never quit quitting” is the message of a major new campaign aiming to help thousands more Greater Manchester residents to stop smoking.
The campaign launches today on TV and radio stations across the city-region. It centres on the real-life experiences of former smokers, giving hope to others that they can enjoy the benefits of quitting – no matter how long they have smoked or how many times they have tried to quit before.
It comes as Public Health England research shows that six in 10 smokers want to quit, and four in 10 plan to quit this year. Whilst acknowledging it can take a smoker on average 30 tries before they quit succesfully.
The ‘Never Quit Quitting’ campaign is being launched by the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership to inspire people to quit smoking and get healthier, wealthier, sooner.
While highlighting the serious health risks of smoking, the focus is on encouraging smokers to increase their chances of quitting by using a combination of personalised support and stop smoking aids, as experienced by other local residents.
Mum-of-two, Charlotte Finchett, 49, from Stockport completely changed her life when she quit smoking using nicotine replacement nine years ago.
“I knew something had to change when my car broke down and I couldn’t afford to get it fixed. When I first decided to quit smoking, I missed the comfort, but I soon realised it was more like a monster on my shoulder. Once I was able to let go, I felt I had my life back. And with the extra money I was able to buy a new car which was fantastic.”
Since quitting smoking, Charlotte has been helping others overcome their addiction. She now works as a stop smoking specialist at The Christie, supporting cancer patients to stop smoking.
“As an exsmoker myself, I know first-hand how challenging quitting can be. But it’s important to keep trying and to get the right support. Quitting takes practice, but you don’t have to do it on your own. In fact, with a bit of help, you’re far more likely to succeed.”
Sarah Price, Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership’s interim Chief Officer, said: “Across Greater Manchester record numbers of people are quitting smoking successfully. While this is fantastic news, we want to empower and support even more people to join them. We’re committed to making smoking history in Greater Manchester and have launched our brand new ‘Never Quit Quitting’ campaign to help us achieve our ambitious goal.”
Greater Manchester’s Making Smoking History strategy was launched in 2017 to reduce smoking prevalence across the population and reduce the risk of cancer, heart-disease and other long-term health conditions. Since then, it has helped to improve the health, wellbeing, and wealth of thousands of residents and their families.
Dr Murugesan Raja, a Manchester GP and Clinical Lead for Respiratory Medicine, said: “I completely understand how hard it is to give up smoking, and sometimes it takes more than one attempt to quit forever. Myself and my colleagues will always want to help no matter whether this is your first attempt, or you have tried many times before. It is never too late to quit smoking, but it’s not too early to start either! Whenever you give up smoking, it will be good for your health.
“If you don’t succeed straight away, it doesn’t mean you never will. Every quit attempt is one step closer to quitting for good. And there are very real health benefits that start almost immediately when you stop smoking.
“There’s lots of help and support out there for people who want to quit. Even if you’ve tried to quit before, don’t be put off trying again. The right advice, support and motivation can help you to quit and stay quit, so talk to your GP, local pharmacy or stop smoking service and never quit quitting.”