York launches Breathe 2025 campaign to inspire a smokefree generation

City of York Council is urging people and organisations across York to sign up and support Breathe 2025, a new campaign to inspire children to grow up smoke-free and protected from health harms caused by tobacco.
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While the region has the highest adult smoking prevalence in England (20.1% compared to an England average of 18%), only one in eight 15-year-olds smoke and the proportion of young smokers is dropping.

Within the next decade there could be a generation of children that don’t smoke.    .

City of York Council’s Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Health Councillor Carol Runciman said: “We want children who have started school this year to be the pioneers of a smokefree generation: today’s five year olds can be smokefree at 15 when they are preparing for their GCSEs and so can all the year groups following them.

“They can be smokefree when they leave school or college and as adults. Breathe 2025 is about how all of us can inspire and help them to make that happen.”
The campaign is being run by a collaboration of partners across Yorkshire and the Humber, including City of York Council and Public Health England.

People and organisations are being asked to show their support by going to the campaign website or Facebook page and signing up to one or more simple, practical actions. This could be pledging to watch and share the Breathe 2025 video, or promising to display a Breathe 2025 poster.  There are a range of simple actions to choose from, as individuals or on behalf of an organisation such as a school, GP or local business.

Councillor Runciman continues: “Giving children and young people the best start in life is a priority for City of York Council, parents, family members and many other organisations and communities in York – and not smoking is a great start so please go to the Breathe 2025 website and show your support.”

City of York Council’s Interim Director of Public Health, Sharon Stoltz said: “Evidence suggests that if young people don’t start using tobacco by the age of 26 they will almost certainly never start, so we have a great opportunity here to transform the health of our region and we can do it within the next 10 years.

“It is estimated that smoking in York costs society around £50.1m annually and smoking breaks cost businesses in York £24.2m each year.  Around one in two smokers die from a smoking-related illness.  If we can prevent young people from smoking that’s not just an investment in their health as individuals, it’s an investment in a healthier future for everyone.”

The Breathe 2025 website is at www.Breathe2025.org.uk

Smokers are 70% more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety

On the build up to this year’s No Smoking Day (March 11th) new research has been published that shows that smokers have a 70% increased risk of anxiety and depression when compared with non-smokers, despite the commonly held perception that lighting up is a stress reliever.

Image result for No smoking day photos

Interestingly, levels of anxiety and depression reported by long-term ex-smokers were indistinguishable from people who have never smoked and much lower than current smokers. This suggests that quitting smoking could help people combat anxiety and depression and improve mental health.

York’s Youth Smoking Data Released

New figures released this week show that estimate smoking rates among young people in York are above the national average.

Commissioned by Public Health England and NICE, and modelled by the University of Portsmouth and the University of Southampton, the figures are estimates of youth smoking rates for every local authority, ward and local NHS level – based on factors known to predict young people smoking.

The data will help City of York Council and other organisations in the city to respond to levels of smoking and is available on PHE’s Local Health website.

The council welcomes Public Health England’s ambition is to reduce smoking rates among young people to secure a tobacco-free generation. In York an estimated 14.54% of 15 year olds are regular or occasional smokers, compared to the national estimate of 12.71%.

The figures mirror adult smoking rates which are falling less rapidly in some areas, with smoking rates considerably higher in deprived communities. Smoking is the single biggest cause of the difference in life expectancy between the richest and poorest in England.

Nearly eight million people still smoke, with 90% having started before the age of 19.  There are 28,888 people who smoke in York.

City of York Council’s Acting Director of Public Health, Julie Hotchkiss said: “Stopping smoking is the single best thing you can do to improve your health, but not starting smoking at all is even better.  If we can stop young people starting smoking before the age of 19 then they stand the best chance of enjoying the health, social and financial benefits of a smoke-free life.

“Although the national modelling shows the number of 15-year-olds who smoke often or regularly in York to be higher than average, last summer’s survey of Year 10 students showed the rates were about in line with the national average.  However City of York Council is aiming to prevent all children from taking up smoking in the next few years, to create a smoke-free generation.”

With the help of North Yorkshire and York’s NHS Smokefree Service “New You”, you’re up to four times more likely to quit for good.  For help to quit smoking telephone 0300 303 1603.

Smoking campaign

City of York Council is backing a powerful new campaign that has been launched this week to highlight how smoking damages the body and causes a slow and steady decline in a process akin to rotting.

It follows a new expert review that highlights the multiple impacts that toxic ingredients in cigarettes can have on your body.

Whilst many smokers know that smoking causes cancer and harms the lungs and heart, the new report highlights how it also damages:

  • Bones and musclesSmoking causes progressive harm to the musculoskeletal system, and has a negative impact on bone mineral density. Harms include:
  • 25% increased risk of any fracture and a 40% increase in the risk of hip fractures among men
  • Slower healing after injury
  • Increased risk of back and neck pain, leading to a 79% increase in chronic back pain and a 114% increase in disabling lower back pain
  • Significant cause of rheumatoid arthritis and can reduce the impact of treatment
  • Brain – Current smokers are 53% more likely to develop cognitive impairment than non-smokers and 59% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease
  • Teeth – Smoking increases the likelihood of tooth loss and decay
  • Eyes – Smoking damages sight by increasing the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) by 78%-358% and increasing the risk of age-related cataracts

With New Year’s resolutions approaching and two thirds of smokers saying they want to quit, new adverts are being used to graphically illustrate the degeneration that smoking causes.

Tomorrow (Wednesday) is stop smoking day

12th March is no smoking day and residents are being encouraged to think before they smoke in front of their children.


Figures released recently by the British Lung Foundation (BLF) show around185,000 children between the ages of 11-15 in England are exposed to potentially toxic concentrations of second-hand smoke in their family car every day or most days.[1] That’s the equivalent of more than 6,100 classrooms full of children[2]]

Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones, Director of Health and Wellbeing at City of York Council said: “These figures demonstrate that children being exposed to second-hand smoke when travelling in a car is still a big problem and we would encourage people to use No Smoking Day as an opportunity to think about stopping smoking in front of their children and quitting altogether. Children are more vulnerable to the dangers of second-hand smoke compared to adults due to their faster breathing, smaller lungs and less developed immune systems.”

The North Yorkshire NHS Stop Smoking Service currently has the following weekly sessions in York:


New figures reveal hundreds of thousands of children regularly exposed to second-hand smoke in a car


New figures released by the British Lung Foundation (BLF) that show around 185,000 children between the ages of 11-15 in England are exposed to potentially toxic concentrations of second-hand smoke in their family car every day or most days.

That’s the equivalent of more than 6,100 classrooms full of children.

Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones, Director of Health and Wellbeing at City of York Council said:


Hundreds in York could add years to their lives

More than 750 people in York joined a quarter of a million people across the nation in turning their back on cigarettes this month in the mass 28-day stop smoking challenge, Stoptober.

Research shows that stopping smoking for 28 days can extend your life by up to one week if you remain smokefree.  The new ex-smokers from York are therefore celebrating their first steps towards a healthier, smokefreelife, and if they succeed in quitting for good, they could collectively add more than 14 years of life to the city’s population.


Taking part in Stoptober has reaped additional benefits:

·The average smoker has 13 cigarettes a day, which equates to 364 cigarettes every four weeks.  Stoptober would have saved them £141 each over four weeks and if they remain smokefree they could save £423 by Christmas and £1,696 in a year.

Collectively, if all Stoptober participants in York quit for the 28 days this month they would have saved £106,314.

·With the average cigarette taking approximately four minutes to smoke [5], this Stoptober could have saved the average smoker over 24 hours by not smoking; and cumulatively the nation’s Stoptober participants would have gained over 680 years in spare time.