Football legends urge fans to give smoking the kick

Leading Premier League clubs, such as Tottenham Hotspur, along with football legends John Barnes and Gianfranco Zola are calling on football fans to quit smoking by joining Smokefree United.

Photograph: GUSTOIMAGES/SPL
Photograph: GUSTOIMAGES/SPL

Smokefree United is a virtual club launched by the NHS that will provide coaching and support to help football fans and footballers stop smoking.

Fans that sign up for Smokefree United will receive motivational emails encouraging them to stop smoking, with incentives on offer such as the chance to play a game on the pitch of the team they support.

Public health minister Gillian Merron said: ‘Quitting smoking is tough, but by joining Smokefree United you'll get the motivation and support you need to stop for good.'

England legend John Barnes, who scored 12 goals in 79 appearances, added:  ‘I'd urge all football fans and players who have thought about quitting to sign for Smokefree United. 

‘Quitting smoking will have a huge impact on your game and you'll immediately become more competitive because your cardiovascular fitness will improve, increasing the amount of time you'll be able to spend on the pitch.'

Tottenham Hotspur, one of the clubs involved in Smokefree United, is currently delivering a number of health related programmes focusing on smoking cessation, obesity, oral health and physical activity.

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