Smokers in Birmingham will be able to see their future selves on a big screen in a dramatic exercise designed to get them to quit.
Shoppers and commuters will have the chance to see how they will age as part of a series of events in the city centre to mark national No Smoking Day on Wednesday. (MARCH 14)
Specialist age progression software will be used to show smokers how they will look if they continue their habit. To add to the shock factor, the images of the smoker now and in the future will be shown to them.
Behind the event is the Smoke Free Birmingham campaign team, involving the city’s NHS Primary Care Trusts, supported by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).
Smoke Free Birmingham programme manager Janet Reece said: “The age progression images will dramatically show smokers how tobacco will take its toll on the face if they don’t ‘make a fresh start’ and stop smoking now. We hope it will be a pretty dramatic wake-up call and will really show the harm smokers are doing to themselves – and will also show how they can improve their future if they give up smoking.”
Stopping smoking is the single greatest change a smoker can make to improve their health. GSK understands that quitting isn’t easy and is committed to helping people who are ready to stop smoking. As such GSK is pleased to support the Smoke Free Birmingham campaign in this innovative approach to help more smokers achieve this goal.
Teams of health professionals from the city’s primary care trusts will be on hand measuring people’s levels of carbon monoxide – another way to demonstrate to smokers how their habit is affecting their bodies.
They will also be dispensing advice and reminding people of the wide range of help and support available to help them quit, particularly through the new Call To Quit free telephone helpline on 0800 052 5855.
Shoppers can also get their hands on goody bags which include the chance to enter a prize draw to win a fantastic ‘Red Letter Day’ experience of their choice, including rally car driving, sailing, a session in a recording studio or a spa day.
The teams will be in and around the Pavilions, Brindley Place, High Street and New Street from 11am to 2pm.
The event is part of the ‘Make a Fresh Start!’ campaign pioneered by the ‘No Smoking Day’ charity.
The scheme has the backing of a wide range of organisations, businesses and celebrities, including Aston Villa Football Club.
Ten of the city’s premier Balti and Indian restaurants will also be supporting the event by banning smoking in their venues for the day and advising restaurant-goers about the new law.
School children have also got in on the act by entering a fantastic Smoke Free Birmingham competition to design a poster, write a song or compose a poem or essay about smoking.
The winners from primary and secondary schools across the city will be presented with their awards – including games consoles, MP3 players and days out – at a special ceremony at Aston Villa FC on Monday. (MARCH 12th)
For more information please contact Mandy Pritchard at LTA Communications on 01384 444044 / 07973 388698
NOTES TO EDITORS:
No Smoking Day is one of the longest running UK-wide health campaigns and has helped more than a million people give up.
It is the most popular day of the year for smokers to quit, with an estimated 1.5million expected to make a fresh start this Wednesday.
The NHS’s Call To Quit free telephone helpline offers advice and information for people who want to give up smoking. Call 0800 052 5855.
The new Health Act 2006 comes into force on July 1st. It bans smoking in enclosed and substantially enclosed public places and workplaces.
The Smoke Free Birmingham campaign is a partnership between the city council, local NHS trusts, business organisations and others and has been established to help businesses to achieve a smoke-free workplace.
Ten of Birmingham’s Balti and Indian restaurants are supporting No Smoking Day by going Smoke Free for the day. They are: The Purple Rooms, Hall Green; Lahore Karahi Karahi, Ladypool Road, Sparkbrook; Shah’s, Station Road, Birmingham; Masalla Merchant, Stirchley; Shabab Tandoori, Oldbury; Balti Hut Tandoori, Stirchley; Punjab Paradise, Ladypool Road, Sparkbrook; Dawat Balti, Sparkbrook; Lahore Buffet, Ladypool Road; and Safari Bar & Grill, Great Lister Street, Aston.