Scores of smokers stub out their cigs

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More than 1,000 smokers in St Helens stubbed out their cigarettes for Stoptober last month.

They joined more than 250,000 people nationwide who took on Public Health England’s annual stop smoking challenge.

Locally, 794 people registered on the national Stoptober database and 280 registered a quit date, supported by St Helens Smokefree Support.

Julie Tipton, St Helens Smokefree Support Manager, said: “The campaign was a big success in St Helens.

“Smokefree Support handed out more than 900 Stoptober packs to smokers visiting their promotional events in the town centre.”

Fifteen drivers at Saints Taxis were among those who registered to quit.

The firm’s manager Paul Thompson said “We were approached by the Smokefree team to take part in the campaign and so far three drivers have managed to stay smoke-free. This is a fantastic result given that they were all heavy smokers.”

Earlier this year St Helens’ director of public health said good progress had been made in the first year since the responsibility for public health was switched back to St Helens Council from the NHS.

But she admitted there was still work to do with regards to health inequalities.

She said: “More causes of death now are as a result of lifestyle factors such as smoking, drinking, poor diet and lack of exercise.”

Among a range of recommendations in her Better Health Together report was the introduction of community services to promote smoke-free homes.