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Hard-hitting campaign highlights 16 cancers linked

A TV campaign is to run throughout February in the Yorkshire and Humber area to encourage smokers to quit, as Yorkshire and Humber tops the smoking league.

Every week in North East Lincolnshire, 3- 4 people on average discover they have cancer caused by smoking.

While most smokers know about the link between smoking and lung cancer, many people do not realise that smoking is linked with not one but 16 different cancers, including cancers of the mouth, nasal cavities, pharynx and larynx, stomach, kidney, bowel, liver, pancreas, ureter, oesophagus, cervix, bladder and ovaries as well as myeloid leukaemia.

Quit16 is a hard-hitting campaign that highlights the 16 cancers associated with smoking and asks people to quit. It is the first region-wide anti-smoking campaign that includes advertising on television and online, by local tobacco control alliances, collaborating as Breathe 2025, and supported by Cancer Research UK.

It is based on a campaign first developed and run in Australia in 2014 by the Cancer Council Western Australia, with 74% of smokers who saw it seriously considering quitting and 20% discussing quitting with a health professional as a result.

North East Lincolnshire has one of the highest adult smoking rates in the country, with 23% of adults still smoking.

The campaign launched today, Monday 1 February, and runs throughout the month. The campaign website is www.QUIT16.co.uk

Bev Compton, Assistant Director of Adult Services and Health Improvement and Chair of the North East Lincolnshire Smokefree Alliance said:

‘The films and message are brutally honest: there are 16 cancers caused by smoking. Some will kill you quickly, others more slowly and it’s you and your family that have to live through it. Stopping smoking is the best thing you can do to reduce the risk that one of those deaths will be you.

Quitting isn’t easy but there is lots of help out there from face to face support to personalised texts, emails and apps. You can find out details of support near you on the website Quit16.co.uk.’

Councillor Jane Hyldon-King, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Health, Wellbeing and Adult Social Care and Chair of the Health and Well-being Board said:

‘Most people are aware that smoking can cause lung cancer, but there is a huge lack of general awareness about the true health harms of smoking. The best thing smokers can do is give up - for their own health as well as their friends’ and family’s.

I know from personal experience the devastating effect that smoking related ill health can have on families. As an ex-smoker, I understand that quitting can be extremely difficult, but it greatly reduces the risk of smoking-related cancers, as well as other illness such as heart and lung disease. For those who are ready to give up, our local Stop Smoking Service is the best place to start. The earlier you stop smoking the better but it’s never too late to quit.’

The Stop Smoking Service can be contacted by telephoning (01472) 325500 or by accessing their website www.nel-lifestyleservices.co.uk.