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Give yourself a pay rise on No Smoking Day

Tuesday 7 March 2017

Tomorrow (Wednesday 8 March) is No Smoking Day – and it is also national budget day, when central Government is expected to raise taxes on tobacco.

Sheffield City Council and ASH (Action on Smoking on Health) are therefore encouraging smokers to use the day as their chance to quit.

Someone who smokes 10 cigarettes a day, and decides to quit completely, could save themselves about £23.50 a week – or more than £1,200 a year.

Average pay in the UK is now slightly over £500 a week (roughly £20,000 a year after tax), so someone on average earnings who successfully quits has effectively given themselves a six per cent pay rise. Research has also shown that money can be saved by switching from smoking to vaping.

A “savings calculator”, showing how much money individuals could save by quitting, and other information on the benefits of quitting can be found at https://www.nhsinform.scot/nosmokingday

Councillor Mary Lea, cabinet member for culture, sport and leisure at Sheffield City Council, said: “Smoking is the biggest burden to public health here in Sheffield and is the city’s biggest killer, claiming the lives of around 16 people a week.

“It’s always a good time to quit. But with the renewed focus today on the cost of tobacco and with taxes expected to rise, it’s an ideal opportunity for people to consider the impact of smoking on their health and on their bank balance.

“A good start would be to visit the stall in the Moor Market today, where help and advice will be freely available to anyone who wants to use today as the start to a new smoke-free way of life.”

A stall is open in the Moor Market six days a week, offering help to those wishing to stop smoking.
People can drop in or make an appointment by telephoning 07833 048200. The stall offers a free and confidential service that is staffed by two fully-trained stop smoking advisors.

Expert advice is given on all stop smoking products available, including e-cigarettes, and a comprehensive behavioural support programme is also on offer.

Research shows that only about one in 20 unaided attempts to quit smoking result in smokers stopping for good.

The best chance for quitting smoking is to use a local Stop Smoking Service, which can offer behavioural support and coaching, and prescriptions for a stop smoking medicine such as varenicline and/or nicotine replacement therapy. Research shows these can improve a smoker’s chance of quitting by up to four times.
While quitting using nicotine completely is best in terms of both health and finances, research shows that switching from smoking to using electronic cigarettes can also help smokers to quit.

E-cigarettes are now the most commonly used aid to quitting, and ASH surveys find that the most common reasons ex-smokers give for using electronic cigarettes are to help them stop smoking, to save money and to help keep them from starting smoking again.

Here in Sheffield, the council’s new stop smoking strategy aims to create a smoke-free city where people live longer and healthier lives, where children think smoking is unusual, and where young people don’t take up smoking in the first place.

Stop smoking services in Sheffield focus on screening, prevention, cessation, and harm reduction. These services are targeted to those most vulnerable to the health harms of tobacco, such as pregnant women, and groups who smoke the most, such as routine and manual workers.

Investment into evidence-based prevention work is also being increased. This involves rolling out work in schools, increasing the number of outdoor smoke-free sites and events, and increasing the investment in communication and media campaigns targeting those who find it the most difficult to quit.

This comes after the release of the city council’s innovative “You Can Leave Your Patch On” video, which has already racked up more than 200,000 views across social media since being launched in January.
Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w64UOCfvlH0

Sheffield City Council also continues to tackle the trade in cheap and illicit tobacco, which brings organised crime into communities, introduces young people into smoking and keeps existing smokers in addiction.