The theme for this year’s No Smoking Day is Swap Fags for Swag, which focuses on what smokers will gain when they quit, particularly the extra cash. Focus groups showed that the cost of smoking is one of the main drivers for quitting. Whilst health and family are also high on the list, it is the cost which gives many people the final incentive to quit.
The campaign is based on an average packet of cigarettes costing £7, and highlights what you could buy if you quit smoking for 1 day, 1 week, 3 months and 1 year. This ranges from a ‘swanky new lipstick’ or ‘taking the kids to the cinema’, to buying a ‘new TV’ or ‘taking the holiday of a lifetime’.
On Saturday 9 March, between 12 noon and 3.00pm, as part of the Island’s No Smoking Day activities, Advisors from the Quit4You Stop Smoking Service will be based in Regent Street in Douglas, working from the Ambulance Service’s Health Improvement Vehicle. They will be offering free carbon monoxide readings, plenty of tips to quit smoking, and a competition guessing the cost of cigarettes. There will also be a ‘Big Cigarette’ parading in Strand Street, and balloons to giveaway.
On Wednesday 13 March, the Quit4You Team will be at the Isle of Man College’s Health Fayre between 9.30am and 1.00pm; in Noble’s Hospital foyer between 12.30pm and 2.00pm, and at Ramsey and District Cottage Hospital’s Training Room from 4.00pm to 5.00pm with the public welcome to come along to find out more information and support on offer.
Minister for Health, David Anderson MHK, said: “The Department has a renewed focus on helping everyone in our community to lead healthier lifestyles, and assisting smokers to quit is one of many initiatives that feeds into this element of the Department’s overall strategy. However, it’s important to remember that No Smoking Day is not about pressurising people to quit, but letting people know about free help and support that’s available if they do want to take that first step. Evidence shows that people are four times more likely to quit smoking if they combine using a product, such as Nicotine Replacement Therapy, with sessions at their local stop smoking services.”
Anita Imberger, Tobacco Strategy Coordinator, said: “No Smoking Day provides a unique opportunity to remind people about our free local Quit4You Stop Smoking Service, and also provides some people with a quit date to aim towards. Our Quit4You Team offer weekly drop-in clinics all around the Island, providing practical advice, support and encouragement to anyone who wants to quit, and they’ll be available in Regent Street as well on the 9 March.”
As part of No Smoking Day activities, Primary schools on the Island were also invited to take part in a UK competition to design a poster around the theme of ‘What would you do with £49?’, which is the money the average smoker spends on cigarettes each week. The competition closed on the 27 February and was judged by Duncan Bannatyne. More details are available at: www.nosmokingday.org.uk/education-and-young-people/
For more information about our local Stop Smoking Service, visit www.Quit4You.gov.im, phone Quit4You (Public Health) on 642404, or e-mail email@example.com. For No Smoking Day posters or leaflets for your area, please phone Public Health Resources on 642645.