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Every Breath relaunched after triggering rise in quitting

A young carer from Northumberland has highlighted the devastating impact his mother’s lung disease has had on their family, as a successful and hard hitting stop smoking campaign re-launches in the North East.


FRESH’s ‘Every Breath’ campaign will run again from August 30 to show how smoking causes chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The campaign, backed by Sting and supported by the British Lung Foundation, triggered a big rise in the number of people quitting smoking, following phase one last Autumn.


Figures from the NHS Information Centre revealed the first phase of the campaign inspired a huge rise in the number of people quitting smoking with local NHS Stop Smoking Services during October to December 2012:


A 17 per cent increase in people setting quit dates through NHS Stop Smoking Services in the North East – compared to a 2.9 per cent rise nationally A 21 per cent increase in people making it successfully to week four of their quit attempt compared to a 3.1 per cent rise nationally– suggesting North East smokers were more motivated to quit The North East NHS Stop Smoking Services as a whole outperforming all other regions following the Every Breath campaign A survey following the campaign also found more than two thirds of North East smokers said it made them more likely to quit after seeing it

Ailsa Rutter, director of FRESH, said: “The Every Breath campaign has been a real wake up call to many smokers. It was news to many people who thought that being short of breath was normal, when in many cases it is an early sign of COPD and it makes quitting even more urgent.


“We’ve had so much positive feedback from people who said the hard hitting, factual approach gave them the reason they needed to quit smoking and have made the decision to run it again, based on the campaign’s proven track record of results.


“We want to help encourage people to quit smoking with the hard facts, as well as stopping young people from taking up smoking in the first place."


The North East has the highest prevalence in England of COPD - a disease where the lungs are destroyed. 80 per cent of COPD cases are caused by smoking and sufferers describe the later stages as feeling like they are choking or suffocating.


Around 8,700 people were diagnosed with the condition in 2008-09, but it is estimated that around 32,000 more people in the North East have the disease but have never been diagnosed.


Christine Dryden, Stop Smoking Service Manager for Newcastle and North Tyneside said: “If you’re a smoker who wants to quit, by accessing our stop smoking service now for support you’re at least four times more likely to succeed. Quitting smoking is the single best thing for improving your health.

“The last Every Breath campaign was a great success for encouraging a number of people in our area to come forward and quit. So if you’re worried about your health, we would encourage anyone to drop in and get your quit attempt underway."


 Professor Paul Corris, Professor of Thoracic Medicine at Newcastle University and Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust: Respiratory Co Lead NHS North East said: “The North East is an area which has a higher than average national prevalence of smoking and smoking related conditions including COPD. It is important for us to educate the public and demonstrate that smoking is directly linked to the development and progression of lung disease such as COPD, through campaigns like Every Breath.


“This campaign was a remarkable success story and is an inspirational piece of work; a fabulous campaign to have here on the doorstep in the North East. Having a smoker in the family is an issue for all because it impacts on the whole family, not just the smoker.


“The results from the first phase prove there is a willingness of people to respond to messages and underlines the fact that the majority of people who smoke want to stop. There is a willingness in the North East to listen to, recognise and act on good advice.”


Bev Wears, Support and Development Manager at the British Lung Foundation North of England, said:“COPD is not only one of the biggest causes of death in the UK, but can have a severe impact on the lives of people affected. Some people are left so out of breath that even every day activities, like getting dressed or popping to the shops, can be a real struggle.

“The North East has the highest rates of COPD in the country, and I’ve personally spoken with many people from the area who have told me how they wish they’d quit smoking years before their illness forced them too. It is therefore very encouraging to see the Every Breath campaign return to the North East to try and cut the number of people who will develop COPD as a result of smoking into the future.


"The campaign proved a great success last time around, and I’ve no doubt that, with such enthusiasm in the North East, the programme will prove even more successful this time”.

The Every Breath campaign will run from August 30 to September 23 with television and three new radio adverts highlighting the real stories of people affected by smoking related COPD. Cinemagoers all over the North East will also see a shocking 50 second breathing exercise that invites them to briefly experience how difficult breathing is in the later stages of COPD

If you want to quit smoking, contact the Newcastle and North Tyneside NHS Stop Smoking Service on 0191 2292910.


For more about the campaign, visit
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