A new campaign is urging smokers in Kirklees to quit now and cut the risk of a fatal smoking-related disease – for the sake of themselves and their family.

The Don’t Be the 1 campaign from West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership and Breathe 2025 highlights how 1 in 2 long term smokers will die from a smoking related disease – some in their forties.

Smoking causes around 80% of deaths from lung cancer, around 80% of deaths from bronchitis and emphysema, and about 14% of deaths from heart disease. More than one quarter of all cancer deaths can be attributed to smoking. Across Kirklees, 38,919 people visit or are admitted to hospital for smoking-related conditions every year and 737 people die. This costs the local NHS £93.5 million a year.

Dr David Kelly of NHS North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has said: “Smoking tobacco is much more harmful than most people think. It might be tempting to say: “this won’t happen to me” but a 1 in 2 chance is odds that nobody would want. There are more ways to quit than ever before and I’d urge anyone who smokes to give it a go.”

Worryingly, surveys show 9 out of 10 smokers underestimate the 1 in 2 risk, with around half believing their risk to be 1 in 10 or less. On average, cigarette smokers die 10 years younger than non-smokers.

Rachel Spencer-Henshall, Strategic Director Corporate Strategy, Commissioning and Public Health, Kirklees Council said: “We want our residents to live longer, healthier and happier lives. Stopping smoking can help achieve this as it is one of the best things you can do to improve your health and quality of life. It also results in more money for people’s pockets and happier loved ones. This campaign helps raise awareness of the harmful health issues that smoking causes and signposts people to the range of support and information available to help people quit.”

Smokers can visit the DontBeThe1.tv website for tips on quitting and to find local stop smoking service support to improve their chances.

NHS Greater Huddersfield and NHS North Kirklees CCGs have recently signed the NHS Smokefree Pledge. The Pledge is designed to be a clear and visible way for NHS organisations to show their commitment to helping smokers to quit and to providing smoke-free environments which support them. The Pledge has been endorsed by the Chief Executives of NHS England and Public Health England.

Caption: l-r: Carol McKenna, Chief Officer, Dr Steve Ollerton, Chair of NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG and Dr David Kelly, Chair of NHS North Kirklees CCG with the NHS Smokefree Pledge)

Dr Steve Ollerton, Chair of NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG  said: “Getting the right support to quit gives you a much better chance, whether that is nicotine replacement, medication or switching to an electronic cigarette – a significantly less harmful option. It doesn’t matter how many times you have tried before. Quitting at any age lowers your risk of dying early, so the sooner you stop smoking, the better.”

Visit dontbethe1.tv or http://www.kirklees.gov.uk/beta/health-and-well-being/alcohol-drugs-and-smoking.aspx for information about stop smoking support in Kirklees. Alternatively, contact your GP or pharmacy. Find out more about the NHS Smokefree Pledge here: http://smokefreeaction.org.uk/smokefree-nhs/nhs-smokefree-pledge/.