A new campaign is urging smokers in Harrogate District to quit now and cut the risk of a fatal smoking-related disease – for the sake of themselves and their family.
The ‘Don’t Be the 1’ campaign from the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership and Breathe 2025 highlights how 1 in 2 long term smokers will die from a smoking related disease, some in their forties.
Smoking causes around 80% of deaths from lung cancer, around 80% of deaths from bronchitis and emphysema, and about 14% of deaths from heart disease. More than one quarter of all cancer deaths can be attributed to smoking. Research shows that in North Yorkshire there are 68,000 smokers – resulting in 994 deaths a year and over 62,000 hospital visits/admissions. The total cost of smoking across the county is £122 million.
Worryingly, surveys show 9 out of 10 smokers underestimate the 1 in 2 risk, with around half believing their risk to be 1 in 10 or less. On average, cigarette smokers die 10 years younger than non-smokers.
Smokers can visit the DontBeThe1.tv website for tips on quitting and to find local stop smoking service support to improve their chances.
Dr Bruce Willoughby, NHS Harrogate and Rural District Clinical Commissioning Group GP Governing Body Member said: “Smoking tobacco is much more harmful than most people think. It might be tempting to say: “this won’t happen to me” but a 1 in 2 chance is odds that nobody would want.
“There are more ways to quit than ever before and I’d urge anyone who smokes to give it a go. Getting the right support to quit gives you a much better chance, whether that is nicotine replacement, medication, visiting your local stop smoking service or switching to an electronic cigarette – a significantly less harmful option.
“It doesn’t matter how many times you have tried before. Quitting at any age lowers your risk of dying early, so the sooner you stop smoking, the better.”