WIGANERS who smoke are being urged to kick their habit as part of the Stoptober campaign.
Launched this week, the campaign is based on research that suggests that smokers who get through 28 days without a cigarette have an increased chance of quitting for good.
Coun Keith Cunliffe and director of public health Dr Kate Ardern marked the official opening of Stoptober month at the Grand Arcade.
Cabinet member for health Coun Cunliffe said: “If you’ve been thinking about quitting, now is the time to do it.
“It isn’t always an easy journey but with the support of friends, family and your local stop smoking service, everyone can help each other to reduce the number of smokers in Wigan borough.
“During Stoptober last year, 160,000 people quit smoking.”
Smokers who sign up to the scheme will receive a stop smoking pack and receive daily text messages with advice and encouragement.
New figures released by campaigning group Tobacco Free Futures estimates there are 56,951 smokers in Wigan and smoking tobacco costs the council £94m through loss of productivity due to early death and illness, NHS costs, litter and fires.
Andrea Crossfield, chief executive of Tobacco Free Futures said: “Stoptober is a great chance to break away from this addiction and start to feel the health and financial benefits of becoming smoke free.
“As well as the money saved from stopping smoking quitters will start to notice immediate health improvements.”
For more information or to sign up visit www.smokefree.nhs.uk/Stoptober or call 01942 481712 to speak to the stop smoking service .