New statistics have been published in line with the launch of an anti-smoking campaign in Greater Manchester, revealing over 34,000 Salfordians smoke regularly.

Commissioned by the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, the “exsmoker” campaign was established on National No-Smoking Day (March 13), with the hope of encouraging people to give up smoking.

The campaign is part of the ‘Making Smoking History’ programme, which aims to reduce smoking rates by a third in Greater Manchester by 2021 – meaning a target of reducing the number of smokers by 115,000.

Statistics show that the number of smokers is gradually decreasing each year, with more than 8,500 smokers quitting in Salford between 2012-2017.

The “exsmoker” campaign uses the experiences of former smokers across Greater Manchester who have successfully quit, and aims to inspire others to follow their lead.

The focus of the case studies is to demonstrate the personal benefits of quitting, along with the obvious health impacts of smoking tobacco.

Lisa Haslam, from Salford, said in a video posted by GMHSC Partnership: “I started smoking when I was 13 until I was 45. As I got to 18, I was smoking 20-a-day.

“I didn’t think I couldn’t live without it, because the cravings were that bad. As I was smoking one, I’d be thinking about the next one.”

After visiting her doctor for an ear infection, a suspicious lump in Lisa’s throat was discovered. Within three days, she was in surgery.

Lisa added: “The day that I found out, was the day I gave up smoking. I was terrified.

“I always thought, ‘well if it kills me, it kills me’. It took that shock to make me realise that I still wanted to be here. My Dad tried to tell me, when he got his cancer, how bad it was. And that could have been me.

“My family is worth more than a cigarette.”

You can watch the full interview here…

Sarah Price, of Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership’s Director of Population Health, said: “Over the past five years over 106,000 people in our region have stopped smoking for good. While this is great news, we want to empower and support even more people to join them.

“The sad fact is that smoking still kills 13 Greater Manchester residents a day. That’s why we’re determined to make smoking history in our region.

“Stopping can be hard but there are many ways you can successfully quit, even if you’ve tried before. We’ve put local exsmokers from across Greater Manchester at the heart of our new campaign to inspire thousands more people to quit and show that, no matter your situation, you can stop smoking.”

If you need advice and the help to quit, read more or call the GM Stop Smoking Helpline, 0300 123 1044. Alternatively, visit your local pharmacy or explore the Christie’s smoking cessation service.

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