Stub out the myths on
THE British Heart Foundation is calling
on smokers to bust the common myths associated with smoking and commit to
quitting on 11 March 2015 it will be:- 'No Smoking Day'.
The charity expects nearly 1 million smokers to attempt to quit on the day.
New research released ahead of 'No Smoking Day' shows that smokers have a 70%
increased risk of anxiety and depression when compared with non-smokers, despite
the commonly held perception that lighting up is a stress reliever
Levels of anxiety and depression reported by long term ex-smokers were
indistinguishable from people who have never smoked and much lower than current
smokers. This suggests that quitting smoking could help people combat anxiety
and depression and improve mental health.
Professor Robert West, Professor of Health Psychology at UCL and lead
researcher, said:- "Our study found that long term ex-smokers have similar
prevalence of anxiety and depression to non-smokers and considerably lower
levels than smokers. Quitting smoking could be the key to improving not only
your physical health, but your mental health too."
The findings support a recent review of 26 studies published in the British
Medical Journal in 2014 that found that quitting smoking is associated with
reduced depression, anxiety, and stress and improved positive mood and quality
of life compared with continuing to smoke. The review also found that quitting
smoking has the same or stronger effect on treating mood and anxiety disorders
Liverpool's Director of Public Health Sandra Davies said:- "Signing up to
quit smoking really is one of the best things you can do for your health and
your family's health. We know that the vast majority of smokers in Liverpool are
keen to quit and there is lots of support to wean people off tobacco so why not
make No Smoking Day the day you start to stop and join millions of other smokers
to quit together."
Liverpool still has 1 of the worst rates of lung cancer in the country,
despite the rate of smoking falling dramatically; down from 35% in 2005 to 25%
Nearly 1 in 5 UK adults smokes, increasing the risk of coronary heart
disease, stroke and a variety of cancers.
The good news is that stopping smoking
is the single best thing you can do for your heart health, and the risk to your
health decreases significantly soon after stopping.
Public Health England are encouraging as many smokers as possible to sign up to
the free:- 'One Day Quit' tool and begin their smokefree journey on 11 March
alongside thousands of fellow quitters.
Those looking to use the tool can sign up until 10 March 2015,
online and also get supportive
emails and texts.
If people wish to sign up for free support on No Smoking Day itself, then they
can access the Smokefree 4 week programme by searching 'Smokefree'
Smokers can also get free local, confidential, friendly advice and practical
help to quit smoking from Roy Castle FagEnds on:- 0800 195 2131.
To find out which
pharmacies provide stop smoking services, contact health promotion on:- 0151 295
Merseyside travel goes
with first 'Walrus' card ticket
THE 1st electronic travel ticket on
the 'Walrus' smartcard will be available in Liverpool, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens
and Wirral from Monday, 9 March 2015.
Smart versions of 'Saveaway'; Merseytravel's off peak day ticket for buses, trains
and ferries; are replacing the scratch off versions of the ticket which have
been around for more than 30 years.
It follows an initial roll out in Wirral which has seen around 58,000 smart
Saveaway's' sold since their launch at the end of November 2014, already making
Merseyside's smart ticketing scheme one of the most active outside of London.
The tickets, which will initially be for on the day use only, will be available
from around 800 PayPoint' outlets across Merseyside more than doubling the number
of places people can buy:- 'Saveaways'. 'The Walrus'
card is designed to be kept, re-used and, longer term, to host other
ticketing products. In Wirral, already more than half of smart 'Saveaways' sales
(around 60%) are on re-used cards.
For the next few months people will be able to get a 'Walrus' smartcard for free
when purchasing a smart 'Saveaways'. There will be a £1 activation charge for all
new cards longer term.
Feedback from the Wirral launch has shown that people are keen to buy
in advance. As a first step towards that, people will be able to buy smart
Saveaway's' for either same day or next day travel from this summer.
Meanwhile there are plans for another of Merseytravel's existing pre-paid ticket
products to go 'smart' later this year too.
'Saveaway' is just the start of Merseytravel's smart ticketing programme, with the
next few years seeing a roll out of new ticket products and new ways to purchase
Merseytravel and operators are continuing to work on a strategy outlining what
Merseyside's smart ticketing future will look like. A high level approach is
expected within the next few months with detailed recommendations expected to be
made later this year.
The focus will be on making the process more convenient and efficient for public
transport users, with simplifying the zoning system and price structures amongst
the considerations. Cllr Liam Robinson, Chair of Merseytravel commented that:-
Merseyside now has the opportunity to get a Walrus smartcard in their purse or
Getting electronic versions of our Saveaway tickets out on the network may seem
a small step to the travelling public of Merseyside, but it is a significant
Just taking Wirral sales figures alone, we already have one of the largest smart
ticketing schemes outside of London and that's just in the space of a few
It has involved much work with transport operators in getting both the
commercial systems and technical infrastructure right; complexities that all
areas outside London face in implementing smart ticketing schemes.
Within the next few months people will be able to buy Saveaways for same day and
next day travel, with another of Merseytravel's ticket products available in a
smart format too.
We've started small, but we're thinking big. We will soon be providing further
detail on our ambitions for 'Walrus' longer term."
There are additional benefits to smart ticketing. The data gathered will help
Merseytravel and the operators better understand passengers' travelling patterns
so transport services can best meet their needs. It is also expected that smart
tickets and the associated 'touch on' will reduce fraud and associated costs.
As not all current 'Saveaway' retailers will have the facility to retail smart
Saveaway's', plus there will be a phasing out of scratch off
'Saveaway' tickets at these
Paper Saveaway's' will still be available from railway stations and ticket vending
For more information on smart 'Saveaway' and your nearest
'PayPoint' outlet visit:-