Quit-factor!

Stephen Jones and Dylan Barnes take carbon monoxide and peak flow tests at the Wigan launch of the Quit Factor campaign on Standishgate watched by stop smoking specialist Celia Dawson, Dr Kate Ardern, director of Public Healh, and Coun Keith Cunliffe, Wigan Council Cabinet member for Healthier Communities and Adult Services

Stephen Jones and Dylan Barnes take carbon monoxide and peak flow tests at the Wigan launch of the Quit Factor campaign on Standishgate watched by stop smoking specialist Celia Dawson, Dr Kate Ardern, director of Public Healh, and Coun Keith Cunliffe, Wigan Council Cabinet member for Healthier Communities and Adult Services

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WE’VE all heard of the X-Factor - now here comes the Quit-Factor.

Wiganers who smoke or who have successfully quit smoking are being urged to come forward for the chance to be one of the 10 local stars of the Quit-Factor.

The Quit-Factor campaign is encouraging people who have made previous attempts to quit smoking, successful quitters or anyone who would like to stop smoking in the New Year to share their story for their chance to be a face and voice of the campaign as well as win some fantastic prizes.

Friends and family members can also nominate loved ones by sharing a few inspirational words.

The selected winners will also be treated to an exclusive VIP event.

The Quit Factor media bus hit the town with Councillor Keith Cunliffe and Dr Kate Ardern, Director of Public Health for NHS Wigan Borough, both in attendance.

Visitors were offered help and advice from specialist NHS Stop Smoking advisors on board the bus and took part in a few surprising tasks, such as a smell test and a lung capacity test.

Metro cabinet champion for healthier communities and adult services Coun Cunliffe said: “This is a timely initiative as the majority of smokers quit at the start of a new year.

“This campaign is an innovative way to engage local community members, their family and friends. Quitting smoking can be a lonely experience, but if you manage to make smoking a thing of the past, you should be proud of yourself.

“By getting involved with this campaign you may also inspire others to take steps towards getting better health.

“However if you have not yet managed to quit we still want to hear from you”.

Dr Ardern added: “It is a great concern that as many as 36 per cent of teenagers in Greater Manchester start smoking before their 17th birthday.

“This adds to the smoking prevalence in the area. Smoking is one of the hardest habits to overcome and is responsible for a staggering amount of deaths, 5,000 a year in Greater Manchester, of which 12 per cent are from Wigan.

“People are four times more likely to quit smoking if they have support from their local NHS Stop Smoking Service which is why it is so important to get in contact”.

To enter the Quit Factor competition visit www.iloveme.org.uk for further details.

If you would like to receive free help and advice about quitting smoking contact the Quit-It helpline on 0800 432 0303 .

Or visit www.quit-it.org.uk.