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Sandwell health supremo set to help people to kick the habit
9:00am Monday 1st October 2012 in News
Sandwell's health supremo is backing a national 'stop smoking' campaign as latest estimates reveal the habit costs Sandwell £15.4m a year.
Councillor Paul Moore, cabinet member for health and commissioning, is urging smokers to join Stoptober, the first ever mass quit campaign by the Department of Health.
People who take part will receive a detailed step-by-step programme to stop smoking.
The move comes as figures based on national surveys and research indicate the borough's smoking balance sheet is millions of pounds in the red. They suggest some 51,710 smokers in Sandwell spend £91.4m a year on tobacco products, contributing £69.7m to Government coffers, but cost £85.1m, leaving a shortfall of £15.4m.
This includes the costs of early deaths, smoking breaks, time off work, sickness, passive smoking, house fires and litter clean-ups.
Cllr Moore said: “People are free to make up their own mind about smoking, this campaign is simply a way of helping anyone who wants to try to give up.
“People who can stop smoking for 28 days are five times more likely to stay smokefree. "Please take a minute to check out the campaign website at www.smokefree.nhs.uk/Stoptober.”