Wirral one of the best for smokers kicking the habit

Smokers in Wirral looking to quit are in good company, new research shows.

Latest data from Public Health England reveals the areas that have had the most—and the least—success quitting smoking and our borough is one of the leading lights.

Over 1,534 people have give up smoking in Wirral since 2019 – a quit rate of 5.42%.

That’s the third highest in the country, with only Hammersmith & Fulham and Knowsley above the leisure peninsula, according to the latest data from Public Health England’s 2019/20 Local Tobacco Control Profiles.

Julie Webster, Wirral’s Director of Public Health, said: “In the last year we’ve seen thousands of people take control of their health and quit smoking, for the benefit of themselves and those around them.

“These increased quit rates couldn’t have come at a better time than now, as we continue to tackle the respiratory virus COVID-19.

“While more and more people are quitting, smoking has considerable health and social costs both for individuals and for society.

“Most smokers wish they hadn’t started smoking or want to quit. And many non-smokers probably don’t want to inhale smoke passively while they’re out dining or catching up with friends and family after lockdown in the open air.”

One of the driving forces behind people quitting smoking has been a gradual move to vaping.

Dan Marchant, Director at the UK’s largest online retailer, Vape Club, said: “Vaping gives a real alternative to traditional smoking cessation products, and as the study shows they are actually twice as effective.

“It is fantastic to see organisations such as Public Health England and the NHS embrace the public health breakthrough that is vaping, but we still have a long way to go to get this message out to the millions of smokers left in the UK.”

Meanwhile, campaigners have called for smoking to be banned in pub gardens and outdoor restaurant seating in Wales.

Action has been called on Smoking and Health (Ash) as Wales wants a current law to be extended to include outdoor hospitality, following the announcement made in Oxford this month as they became the first county to ban outdoor smoking.

When asked about the prospect of a similar move in Wirral, Julie Webster said: “To truly make smoking history in Wirral, we must continue to give local people as much support as we can to help them quit, while giving as many opportunities as possible for people to be in smoke-free areas.

“Ban or no ban, there has never been a better time to quit and with a wealth of resources available to support you, I urge people to take control of their health and stop smoking today.”

Free, local support from health experts at ABL Wirral is available to anyone who wants to cut out cigarettes or wants help switching to or quitting e-cigs.

You can call the service for support on 0151 541 5656 or visit www.ablhealth.co.uk