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Executive Leader Cllr Brenda Warrington

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Councillor Brenda Warrington, Executive Leader of Tameside Council

Get Help To Stub It Out This No Smoking Day

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

What’s one of the best things you can do for your health? Something that will start having a guaranteed and positive impact beginning 20 minutes after you start and which will continue to benefit you for years afterwards if you keep at it? The answer is giving up smoking.

The medical evidence is clear. No matter how long you’ve smoked for or how many cigarettes you smoke a day, it’s never too late. Your pulse rate and blood oxygen levels return to normal less than a day after smoking that last cigarette. A few days after that, your taste, sense of smell and energy levels will all have improved. Keep at it for years more, and your risk of a heart attack will have halved compared to a smoker. I haven’t even begun to mention things like the amount of money you can save or the potential dangers of second-hand smoke either.

Unfortunately, all that has to be balanced out by the fact that quitting smoking for good is an incredibly difficult thing to do. It becomes even harder if we leave people to try and do it alone. It’s estimated that up to 90% of people who try to quit smoking go “cold turkey”; that’s no help, no patches, no nothing. Only about 5-7% of them are successful.

That’s why we’ve joined forces with the NHS, British Heart Foundation and a number of other charities and health organisations to throw our weight behind National No Smoking Day 2019. We want to do something very simple but very powerful; bring people who want to give up smoking together to let them know that they are not alone, and allow them to support and motivate each other to kick the habit for good. It’s especially important here in Tameside. Although the percentage of smokers in our borough has dropped to 17.6% over the years, that’s still one of the highest in Greater Manchester and significantly above the national average.

For the past few months, we’ve been sharing stories about local residents who successfully quit smoking. These include Denton-resident Mary Hanshaw, 58, who had been smoking 30-40 cigarettes a day for nearly 40 years, and Marc Tyson from Hyde, who estimated that his smoking habit had cost him almost £50,000 over 19 years. Both of them received help and advice from Be Well Tameside, the part of our local NHS which helps people live longer and healthier lives. If you’re a smoker and want free support to quit, you can get in touch with Be Well by calling 0161 716 2000 or e-mailing

Hand-in-hand with helping people quit smoking in Tameside is the support we’re offering to people for whom it may be too late to avoid some of the worst consequences of smoking. Tameside and Glossop has been picked as one of the first areas of the country to roll out a project to improve lung cancer survival rates. Residents aged 55-74 who have smoked at some point in their lives will be invited to a lung screening, which will be able to pick up the earliest signs of lung cancer and other potential health issues. The ONS estimates that 81-85% of patients who have their lung cancer diagnosed at the earliest stage were still alive a year afterwards, compared to just 15-19% for those who had it identified at the latest stage.

Put together, these two schemes provide great examples of what the revolution in health and social care taking place in Greater Manchester means in practice for our residents. Where residents need medical treatment we’re making sure they get it at the earliest opportunity, but we’re also working hand-in-hand with those same residents to help make sure they never need medical treatment in the first place. With your help, we’re going to make sure that everybody in Tameside has the opportunity to benefit not just from better services, but better lives as well.


Posted by: Executive Leader

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