Updated: Friday, 19th October 2018 @ 10:03am

Salford asks smokers to face their demons for No Smoking Day with shock firework display

Salford asks smokers to face their demons for No Smoking Day with shock firework display

By Reece Lawrence

A demonic firework display is hoped to scare Salford smokers into quitting to mark national No Smoking Day tomorrow.

A four-metre-long lantern – created by Ordsall Community Arts – will float on Blackleach Country Park's lake as a demon explodes in flames as part of Salford's Face Your Demons campaign.

It will be filled with thoughts and messages of support from hundreds of people who are affected by the addictive habit.

Around 50 people will carry lanterns in a parade through the park as stop smoking advisors talk with the crowds before a firework finale.

Councillor Margaret Morris, assistant mayor for health and wellbeing, said: “It promises to be a fantastic family event.

“We will be celebrating for everyone who uses National No Smoking Day to quit and all those who have already quit, cut down or keep on trying.

“It's quite normal for people to make several attempts before they succeed.

“It's also a chance to think of the 500 people who die prematurely every year in Salford and the hundreds whose health, wealth and wellbeing is affected by smoking.”

The event was inspired by a Office of National Statistics survey, which revealed that 21% of people in the North West in 2011 said they smoked cigarettes – the joint-highest regional percentage in England.

Among men, 22% in the same year said they smoked in the region, with the figure being 20% for women.

The report, released on Thursday, details smoking habits in Britain over 40 years, with the most recent numbers for 2011 included.

Although the North West has among the highest proportion of smokers in Britain today, the overall number has significantly decreased – in 1974, 45% of the adult population smoked compared to just 20% in 2011.

As recently as 15 years ago, over 30% of people in the region smoked – a statistic which has gradually fallen since then.

Despite the improving figures, the subject of smoking-related deaths remains significant, and the upcoming event will highlight the issue.

Councillor Morris added: “There's plenty of practical support available in Salford and our advisors will be out in the crowd ready to help anyone who wants to face their demons and say goodbye to smoking in 2013.”

The free show will take place at Blackleach Country Park in John Street, Walkden. Gates open at 6.15pm and the show runs from 6.45pm to 7.15pm.

Picture courtesy of gideondk, via Flickr, with thanks.

For more on this story and many others, follow Mancunian Matters on Twitter and Facebook.