The Stockport NHS team helping people in the borough to stop smoking have received an artistic helping hand from local schoolchildren.

The CURE project team, based at Stepping Hill Hospital, organised an art competition for pupils at primary and secondary schools in Stockport, with the winning entries being displayed at the hospital to help them capture the stop smoking message.

The winning entries were who both used cheery colourful images to support the CURE team in their mission to stop smoking in Stockport.

CURE is a region-wide secondary care treatment for tobacco addiction, which was launched at Stepping Hill Hospital and other hospitals across Greater Manchester in September last year.

It aims to identify all active smokers admitted to hospital so that they can immediately be offered nicotine replacement therapy and other medications, as well as specialist support.

The CURE team of four nursing and medical staff are based at the hospital’s chest clinic, and are there to provide both for the duration of a patient’s admission, and after discharge too. Since the CURE team have been in place many more patients have got the help they need to stop smoking. 80% of patients approached have accepted help to stop smoking from the  team, and on average one in four of those have managed to stay off cigarettes after discharge.

Tobacco is the single greatest cause of preventable death, disability, illness and social inequality in our area and indeed in the world. The term ‘CURE’ has been specifically chosen to ‘medicalise’ tobacco addiction and move away from the stigma of a lifestyle choice towards disease treatment. The aim of the project is to reduce smoking in the area by a third to 13% by the end of 2021, and to 5% by 2027. This will save hundreds of lives, as well as improving quality of life, with ex-smokers spending a lot less time in hospital.

The CURE team held their picture competition as a way to spread the word and also highlight the presence of the CURE team on site. Copies of Lola and Jessica’s pictures will be placed in areas on the hospital site.

Respiratory Nurse Practitioner and CURE team leader Pauline Holmes said “We’d like to say a big thank you to all the children and schools who took part in the competition, we had so many lovely entries. Lola and Jessica are worthy winners, their pictures are beautiful and a great way of spreading the CURE message. Stopping smoking is the single best thing you can do for your health, but smoking is part of an addiction, not a lifestyle choice, and people need support to get through this addiction. That’s where the CURE team are here to help.”

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