Consider the cost of smoking

AROUND 10 Ballymoney smokers die of lung cancer every year, according to latest statistics released by Action Cancer.

In the lead up to No Smoking Day (Wednesday, March 9), Northern Ireland’s leading local cancer charity, Action Cancer, is encouraging the people of Ballymoney to quit the habit by highlighting the cost of smoking to your health.

Smoking is the largest preventable cause of ill health and premature death in Northern Ireland yet 24% of the adult population1 (approximately 340,000 adults) continues to smoke, with up to 3,000 people dying every year from smoking-related diseases2.

Action Cancer is supporting the Pubic Health Agency’s recent ‘Things to do before you die’ campaign developed to motivate and encourage smokers to quit by firstly focusing on why smokers should quit and secondly offering a range of options on how to do so.

Emily Magrath, Action Cancer’s Health Promotion Manager said: “Smoking is responsible for almost one third of all cancer deaths and accounts for more than 90% of deaths from lung cancer. In Northern Ireland lung cancer kills around 900 people annually including an average of 10 in the Ballymoney Borough Council area every year.

“We’re encouraging smokers to use No Smoking Day as an opportunity to quit for good. Research indicates that 75% of smokers want to stop7 but such an addictive habit is extremely difficult to quit without support. To help, in addition to promoting the Quit Kit resource, Action Cancer provides a six-week smoking cessation programme and a ‘Cut the Habit’ information leaflet to offer individuals support and advice as they try to quit.”

Dr Carolyn Harper, PHA Director of Public Health, added: “Much more needs to be done to tackle smoking rates in Northern Ireland. Through our campaign the emphasis will continue to be on discouraging people from taking up smoking, helping smokers to quit and protecting the public from harm caused by tobacco smoke. It is important to remember that quitting smoking is the single most important decision you will ever make.”

Action Cancer‘s team of health promotion specialists provides a number of services dedicated to educating people on the dangers of smoking. This includes a comprehensive health promotion programme and smoking cessation workshops available to workplaces, community groups and schools. For further information please contact 028 9080 3344 or visit www.actioncancer.org to download the ‘Cut the Habit’ information leaflet.

Smokers can also get the new Quit Kit resource and more information on quitting by logging onto the smoking cessation website www.want2stop.info.