Lancashire’s specialist stop smoking service, Quit Squad, is encouraging smokers across the County to begin their journey to a smokefree life on No Smoking Day, Wednesday 8th March

As well as improving how you feel physically and mentally, quitting smoking protects your brain health. Every cigarette you smoke contains harmful chemicals which are bad for your brain and increase your risk of developing dementia.

Research from Alzheimer’s UK shows dementia is the most feared health condition for people over the age of 55, more than any other life threatening disease including cancer and diabetes. But only 18% of smokers know that smoking causes dementia, compared to over 70% who know that smoking causes lung diseases and cancers.

County Councillor Michael Green, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing at Lancashire County Council, said; "Quit Squad is a vital service commissioned and funded by Lancashire County Council to support smokers in their journey towards a smoke-free life. As a cabinet member with responsibility for public health, I am proud to see the impact this service has made in the lives of thousands of people across the county.

"Quitting smoking is a challenging but achievable goal, and the support of Quit Squad's team of experts can make all the difference. Research shows that using services like Quit Squad increases your chances of successfully quitting, so I would encourage all smokers in Lancashire to take advantage of this valuable resource. Whether you visit the website, call the helpline or use the My Quit Route app, the Quit Squad team is ready to help you take the first step towards a healthier, smoke-free life."

Alex Kennedy, Quit Squad manager said:

“Quitting smoking improves your brain health and reduces your chances of dementia. Never give up on giving up. Every time you try to stop smoking, you are a step closer to success.

“If you want to stop smoking, our specially trained NHS advisors are friendly, approachable and we can support you to take the first step. Getting support from Quit Squad, ran in partnership with Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust and Lancashire County Council, really boosts your chances of quitting – you are up to three times as likely to succeed.”

In July 2022, Gail Forster contacted Quit Squad after smoking up to 30 cigarettes a day for more than 40 years. Gail is determined to never start again with the specialist support she has received from Quit Squad.

Gail explained:

“I started smoking at a young age and everybody thought I would always be a smoker, so I am so proud I have managed to shock everyone. The support from Quit Squad really helped my journey and I couldn’t have done it without their encouragement.”

Figures suggest that on average smokers spend £47 a week on tobacco, which equates to nearly £2,500 each year. With the increased cost of living, smokers are being asked to imagine what other items this saving could be spent on.

If you would like to quit, make today the day by calling 0800 328 6297 or visit our website, where you will find details of local sessions and support including the free to download My Quite Route app.  You can also follow Quit Squad on social media @LancsQuitSquad.