No fire without smoke: Smoking in the home kills, warn Manchester firefighters

Stoptober may be drawing to a close but Greater Manchester firefighters are urging smokers to ‘stub it out for good’ and avoid meeting a grizzly demise.

The city’s fire and prevention teams have been going door to door and have delivered 4,000 leaflets to homes in a bid to encourage people to quit the cigs.

The fire service has joined forces with Manchester based charity Tobacco Free Futures to raise awareness regarding the dangers of smoking in the home.

Councillor David Acton, Chair of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, said: “Smoking is still one of the main causes of fire deaths in Greater Manchester.

“Over the last seven years 40% of the people who died during fires in Greater Manchester, perished in a fire started by a cigarette.

“We have reduced the number of fatalities from fires caused by smoking by 23% over seven years and this is partly thanks to our work with campaigns like Stoptober, but even one death is too many.

“The safest way to avoid having a smoking-related fire in your home is to not smoke at all and we are encouraging smokers this Stoptober to stub it out for good to protect their family and homes.”

Each year in the UK 1,770 people are either killed or injured by fires caused by smoking at home.

The fire service has revealed that a fire caused by smoking happens in the UK approximately once every three days.

They have urged smokers not to have one lying down or in bed, to always use a heavy ashtray, never tap into anything other than an ashtray and to keep lighters and matches out of the way of children.

Wendy Meston, tobacco lead for Greater Manchester’s Directors of Public Health said: “It’s great to see our local fire service once again working with us to encourage smokers to sign up to Stoptober this year to prevent house fires and improve their health.

“House fires have a devastating effect on those residents affected and I hope we can reduce the number of incidents in Greater Manchester to improve the safety of our residents.

“Stoptober is a great opportunity for smokers to make the decision to quit together alongside friends, family and thousands of other people in our area.

“Quitting is the single best thing you can do for your health and with the help of our local stop smoking service, the campaigns support, advice and humour I’m sure this year will be very successful.”

With just over a week to go until the end of the month, health professionals are reminding smokers that it isn’t too late to get involved in Stoptober, the Public health England campaign designed to help people give up.

Everyone joining Stoptober can choose from a range of tools to suit them, including a new stop smoking pack, a 28-day mobile phone app and text support with daily updates.

Andrea Crossfield, Tobacco Free Futures Chief Executive, said: “I encourage every smoker in the North West to quit for Stoptober 2014 and support those quitting around them throughout their challenge.

“After a successful Stoptober 2013, which saw 28,000 people in the North West sign up to quit, it would be great to see even more people pledging to quit this year.

“There has never been a better time to quit, with more free support than ever this year.

“And if you missed the start date, don’t worry – you can quit anytime during October and receive the same excellent support to quit.”

To find out more information about Stoptober click here.

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