DON’T BE THE 1: Fresh campaign warns 1 in 2 smokers risk early death
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They will die from a smoking-related disease such as cancer, heart disease or COPD, says Fresh, the UK’s first dedicated regional programme for tobacco control.
GET SUPPORT: For support to quit visit FreshQuit.co.uk.
The campaign features former smokers who warn how smoking destroys health and rips family life apart.
Evidence shows at least 1 in 2 long term smokers will die from a smoking-related disease, but that risk may now be as high as 2 in 3 for early deaths among smokers. Risk increases with the amount of tobacco smoked per day and years smoked.
Evidence shows the risk may now be as high as two in three long term smokers will die early from a smoking-related disease.
Risk increases with the amount of tobacco smoked per day and years smoked.
Ailsa Rutter OBE, Director of Fresh and Balance, said: “Smoking is still our biggest killer and robs too many North East families of loved ones far too soon.
“Like many families, I lost my dad Stewart to smoking when he was just 61 from COPD. He was a fisherman and county golf champion and he should have been enjoying his life, his family and his grandchildren rather than struggling for breath. We miss him every day.
“It is wrong that most smokers get addicted as children, lured in deliberately by tobacco companies and are trapped in an addiction which costs them money and ruins health. We are running this campaign as a reminder of the risks and the impact on families everywhere.”
Although Maggie died in 2020 from a non-smoking related cause, Davey was able to tell his mum he’d quit just two days before she died. The family have had messages from people from around the world thanking them for the encouragement to quit.
He said: “Now that my mam’s passed away I’m the only one left to continue her legacy. She’d be proud if just one more person quit from seeing the campaign.
“When my mam’s film was running I felt guilty because I was still smoking. Eventually I thought I’m going to make me mam proud and quit smoking again. The last conversation I had with her on Facetime was me with a vape saying I’d quit smoking. She died knowing that I’d quit so that makes me happy.”
Dr Ruth Sharrock is a respiratory consultant at Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust and leads on treating tobacco dependency across the North East and North Cumbria. She said: “Every day in my role I see patients with COPD and lung cancer. It is truly devastating to watch patients having to deal with such difficult diagnoses and also the impact on their family.
“The fact is the more you smoke, and the longer you wait to quit, the worse the risks from smoking. Every cigarette smoked is harmful, taking burning poisons into the lungs and around the body causing mutations which can cause cancer.
“The sooner you stop, the better and ideally quitting before 40 reduces most of the risks. But quitting at any age brings huge health benefits. Even with patients with a serious diagnosis, stopping smoking can have a significant effect on their life expectancy.
“The message is clear that it is never too late, no matter how long you’ve smoked or how old you are”