Smokers encouraged to start new year by quitting

Smokers are being encouraged to quit for New Year to reduce their risk of a range of smoking-related heart problems.

Wednesday, 4th January 2017, 12:56 pm
Updated Monday, 9th January 2017, 12:03 pm
Marlene Westwick and Kaylee Jo Kendal.

Fresh and Public Health England have launched a campaign to highlight the damaging effect smoking has on the heart, as it is revealed that 45 people a day die of cardiovascular disease (CVD) caused by smoking – more than 16,500 a year in England.

CVD, which includes heart attacks and strokes, is one of the main causes of death and disability in the country and quitting has been identified as the single best thing a smoker can do to protect their heart.

Marlene Westwick, 62, from Prudhoe, has angina and COPD. She finally found the strength to stop smoking earlier this year after her granddaughter pleaded with her to quit.

She said: “If I had one message for anyone thinking about stopping smoking, I’d say just give it a go. It’s your life you’re losing by smoking. Think of your children, grandchildren, partner and loved ones and how it’ll affect them when you’re gone.”

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The latest campaign from Public Health England coincides with the first year when all cigarettes sold in the UK will be in standard packs with all branding removed. The packs, mandatory from May, feature graphic picture and text health warnings, several of which illustrate how smoking causes cardiovascular disease and death.