A health warning given to a local councillor to quit smoking is the inspiration for a new hard hitting stop smoking campaign for Cambridgeshire.
County Councillor Peter Hudson was warned by his GP that he wouldn’t see his grand children grow up if he continued to smoke over 20 cigarettes a day and needed to quit for good.
Peter’s experiences are now the basis of a new major stop smoking campaign for Cambridgeshire called #missingmoments and it will be launched on No Smoking Day – 13 March.
As part of the campaign, FREE quit kits will be available from Cambridgeshire County Council’s Public Health website – www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/be-well.
Cambridgeshire County Councillor Peter Hudson said: “It was terrible shock to me. I always felt invincible but the Doctor’s message was stark – quit smoking or face the strong possibility of dying before my time and not seeing my grandchildren grow up. I had been a diehard smoker all my life. I was quite stubborn about not quitting, but the GP’s message really hit home that not only would I miss those key moments in life, it terrified me to think also of the pain and trauma my death would cause to my family. I’ve now quit smoking and I’m also losing weight from eating healthily and exercising more.
“Since quitting, I’ve become the Chairman of the Health Committee with a responsibility for the health of local people in Cambridgeshire. Being smoke free is one the key things we can do to improve our health. Our #missingmoments campaign really focuses on what we will miss if we become another statistic of smoking and what we can do about it. Quitting can be difficult and there have been times when I’ve lapsed. However, I have stuck with it and ultimately been rewarded with better health, a happier life and a relieved family and GP. I really hope my frank and candid approach and our campaign can encourage others to quit.”
The #missingmoments campaign focuses on the people that are left behind when someone dies from smoking and the key events they are absent from, such as wedding, a birthday or playing with your grandchild. For younger people the campaign will focus upon other losses, such as the damage that smoking can cause to physical looks.
The campaign will encourage people to visit the Cambridgeshire’s Be Well website where people can get a free quit kit and advice on how to give up smoking for good. For more details seewww.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/be-well. The campaign will be advertised locally across social media, community venues such as libraries and using traditional advertising.
In Cambridgeshire, more than 2400 people died between 2015 and 2017 from smoking related illnesses. If you smoke, you are more likely to experience chronic illnesses such as cancers, coronary heart disease, heart attack, stroke, peripheral vascular disease (damaged blood vessels) and cerebrovascular disease (damaged arteries that supply blood to your brain).
The Be Well website holds a range of health information and advice for people living in Cambridgeshire.