THIS year’s national Stoptober campaign is once again being backed by Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) to help keep people safe from fire and encourage them to kick the habit to better their health.
Smoking remains the biggest cause of accidental fire deaths in the UK and in Greater Manchester where 46 per cent of accidental deaths are caused by smoking related materials.
Smoking is also the primary cause of preventable illness and premature death in the UK, causing cancers including lung, mouth, throat, stomach and liver cancer, as well as respiratory disease and heart disease and increasing problems such as asthma.
There are lots of ways to quit and Stoptober can help people choose what works for them.
Firefighters, community safety staff members and volunteers at GMFRS have been taking part in new training that is tailored to helping smokers they meet while out and about in Greater Manchester and carrying out Safe and Well visits.
This new way of working will reach out to smokers with the aim of helping them to quit, which will bring a host of health benefits and reduce their risk of having a fire at home.
Councillor David Acton, Chair of the Fire Committee, said: “Smoking causes around 79,000 preventable deaths per year in England and this year GMFRS is pleased to be supporting Public Health England’s Stoptober campaign once again.
“Smoking related fires are the biggest killer in Greater Manchester. Over the past nine years, 46 per cent of fatal house fires have started in this way. Since 2014 there has been more than 740 house fires caused by smoking materials so GMFRS staff members reaching out to those who smoke will hopefully see a decline in this type of fire in the future.”
Stoptober offers a range of free support to help people on their quitting journey including an app, daily emails, Facebook Messenger and lots of encouragement from the Stoptober online community on Facebook. In addition, people can get expert face-to-face advice from local stop smoking services.
Information about the Stoptober campaign can be found online: PHE Stoptober campaign