WEARSIDERS are being urged to give up the weed on No Smoking Day next month.
Ahead of the March 11 awareness day, new figures from the British Heart Foundation (BHF) show that 23 per cent of adults in Sunderland smoke – five per cent higher than the national average.
BHF officials say research shows smokers are four times more likely to succeed in quitting with help from NHS stop smoking services than if they go it alone.
Dr Mike Knapton, Associate Medical Director at the BHF, said: “Smoking increases the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and a variety of cancers. The good news is that stopping smoking is the single best thing you can do for your heart health and the risk to your overall health decreases significantly soon after you stop.
“We’re encouraging smokers to visit their GP, pharmacist or local stop smoking advisor to receive resources, information, and advice on quitting smoking. Getting prepared for your quit attempt is the first step on the journey towards a smoke-free life.”
“Make March 11 the day you start to stop.”
A smoker with a 20-a-day habit will spend an average of £255 a month on cigarettes, but experts say the great cost comes in the impact cigarettes have on peoples’ health.
Dr Knapton added: “Passive smoke is a cause of short and long-term illness in others and is particularly harmful to children – especially in enclosed spaces. It can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, and other health problems such as asthma and meningitis.
“Nearly 70 per cent of the smoke that causes damage is invisible, and opening a window does not protect others from the harmful effects of passive smoke. We believe that the single most effective way of reducing loved one’s exposure to passive smoke is for people to quit.”