Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Ready to Go Smoke Free?

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Ready to Go Smoke Free?

Article excerpt

Byline: By Nick Whitten

Time is ticking away until smoking is stubbed out forever in workplaces throughout the North East.

There are now less than 86 days until England goes smoke-free, at 6am, on July 1.

The smoke-free law is being billed as the biggest piece of public health legislation for 50 years, since the Clean Air Act of 1956.

Smoking kills between 5,000 and 6,000 people in the North East every year, many of those deaths caused by breathing second hand smoke.

And second hand smoke increases the risk in non-smokers of getting lung cancer by 24% and heart disease by 25%. Ailsa Rutter, director of Fresh ( Smoke Free North East, said: "It is vital that businesses across the region start preparing for this date to ensure a smooth transition for all involved."

The smoking rate across the North East for over 16-year-olds is 30%, compared to the English average of 25%.

The Chronicle met up with six smokers from the North East a fortnight ago who decided to kick the habit when the 100 day countdown to the ban begun.

We have checked up with them to see how they are doing:

Amy Davison

Social smoker Amy Davison, 30, works for Bradley O'Mahoney public relations, a smoke-free zone.

She said: "It hasn't gone fantastically well for me because I went on holiday to Tenerife with three other smokers.

"It was difficult not to smoke when I was out having a few drinks with them.

"But since I got back I haven't touched a cigarette. I have also bought some Nicorette lozenges to take on a night out with me in future.

"That way if I get an urge for a cigarette I will have one of those instead."

Lilian and David Short:

Pensioners Lilian and David Short of Dudley, North Tyneside, were smokers for more than 50 years.

But they decided to kick the habit after Lilian's doctor said she had high blood pressure.

Lilian, 67, said: "I have had a difficult time of it because I had a mini stroke and had to go into hospital for a little while. …

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