“Nanna did you know that your lungs look like coal?  Please stop smoking so you can be better.”

Hearing those emotional words from her grandson made Ana Richardson (50)(pictured) from Sinfin take action after 31 years of smoking up to 40 cigarettes a day.  Now, with Livewell’s support she’s delighted to have achieved her dream of being smoke free for over a year and is backing Public Health England’s Stoptober initiative to encourage smokers to get through the 28 day challenge and quit for good.

“I joined Livewell desperate to stop smoking but just didn’t know how.  I’d tried everything on the market to quit before but nothing worked.  A friendly Livewell advisor gave me lots of weekly encouragement and suggested I try a stop smoking treatment called Champix that reduced my withdrawal symptoms.  This worked really well for me and I’m so proud to have finally kicked the habit.”

The grandma and mum of 6 is now hoping her success will inspire other smokers in Derby to join the Council’s Livewell service to get the support they need to take on the Stoptober challenge.

Ana is proudly fronting Livewell’s new campaign which features a 3D Will Power character and aims to encourage all smokers, including those who have previously relapsed, to find their inner Will Power with Livewell’s support.  The service will roll out the campaign during Stoptober and at other key times to engage with the 18% of Derby’s population that smokes (44,775 people).

Those thinking about taking part can get more information, and keep track of the campaign by following @Stoptober or @livewellderby. Those looking for some face to face support locally can attend the Derby Stoptober roadshow on Saturday 23 September at the Play Pen outside Pride Park Stadium before the Derby County game against Birmingham City.

The Livewell Derby team will be on hand to talk to people about the campaign and encourage sign-ups from smokers as well as engaging friends and family members of smokers to support them through their 28 days smokefree.

They will also be offering:

  • Lung age tests, carbon monoxide tests, blood pressure tests and the chance to book a first appointment for individual support.
  • Livewell’s smoothie bike for people to pedal up a fruit smoothie.
  • Posing selfie frames and pledge stickers for the public to make a pledge or a message of support, the best will be uploaded to social media.

The Livewell team will also be attending flu clinics at GP practices and work places throughout September and October.

Councillor Martin Repton, Cabinet Member for Integrated Health and Care, said: “National campaigns such as Stoptober, along with the support from local services such as Livewell, play a huge role in helping people to stop smoking.

Evidence shows that people are five times more likely to quit using a specialist service like Livewell than going it alone and Stoptober is a great way for people to quit together to boost their chances of successfully quitting.

Derby people can go along to the roadshow on 23 September for more information – the Livewell team will offer support and advice on stopping smoking but will also be available to talk about other health goals such as losing weight or improving your fitness or even all three.”

Councillor Repton continues: “Last year Livewell supported over 1000 smokers to quit, saving each smoker around £3158 (based on 20 a day), that’s £3.12m in total and nearly 7kg less tar consumed by Derby people.”

The 28-day challenge starts on Tuesday 1st October but people can choose to start their quit up until the end of October.

If you want to take part and would like free personal support, visit www.livewellderby.co.uk/stopsmoking or call Livewell Derby on 01332 641254 and be sure to keep us updated of your progress by including @LivewellDerby and @DerbyCC in your posts and using the hash tag #Stoptober2017.