Helping hand for would-be quitters

for HEALTH PAGE'Tracey Englishby (right) and Irene Houghton (left facing the camera), from the Stop Smoking Service on their lung health check bus out and about for No Smoking Day
for HEALTH PAGE'Tracey Englishby (right) and Irene Houghton (left facing the camera), from the Stop Smoking Service on their lung health check bus out and about for No Smoking Day

FYLDE coast residents were able to find out their lung age on No Smoking Day.

The Stop Smoking Service, from NHS Blackpool, was out and about in a special bus offering people free lung health checks and advice from a stop smoking adviser.

Irene Houghton, who carries out the tests, said: “We were carrying out a test called spirometry, which measures capacity of the lungs, the speed and amount of air going out of the lungs.

“Results vary, of course, depending on age, height and gender.

“We have been doing this project now with NHS Blackpool for two years, getting out and about on a bus to bring these tests to workplaces, and other places where we can reach people who we might not normally see.

“We can give people a lung age, based on the results.

“If it is older than their actual age, it indicates their lungs are not as good as we would expect. “Most people who find out their lung age is older are generally quite alarmed.

“But we have the stop smoking advisors on-hand so they can speak to them immediately.

“Around 10 per cent of people we test showed signs indicating towards Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD), before the person was showing any symptoms.

“It means the risk is picked up early and we can start people on the path to quitting straight away by enabling them to speak to stop smoking advisers.

“Hopefully, when people have the test, combined with the offer of help to stop smoking, it will have a positive result.”

To coincide with No Smoking Day, NHS Blackpool and Blackpool FC unveiled new signage at Bloomfield Road, declaring the whole stadium and car park a no-smoking zone.

Smoking has been banned on the whole of the site, including the ground itself, and the car park for the past 12 months, but high-profile signs have been put up.

The move was part of a joint campaign by NHS Blackpool, the council and Blackpool FC, dubbed Altogether Now, to improve the health of people living in the resort.

Jane Roberts, head of tobacco control with NHS Blackpool, said: “With our partners, we are ensuring we are giving out a consistent message, that smoking is not acceptable behaviour anywhere on the stadium site.”