Monthly Archives: September 2013

Marathon runner to push giant ‘Stoptober’ ball through Norwich

Rory Coleman will be running a 28 mile route, including three miles while pushing a giant ‘Stoptober ball’ on Sunday, September 29 as part of the Stoptober campaign – the country’s mass attempt to quit smoking.

The ex-smoker, who lives in Cardiff, will stop off at the Sportspark, on Earlham Road, where he will push the four metre high ball around the running track, before taking it onto the city’s streets and all the way to Norwich Haymarket, outside Next.

At the finishing line he will be met by a team of expert advisors from Smokefree Norfolk, the stop smoking service provided by Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust.

The feat is part of Mr Coleman’s 28 x 28 challenge, which he’s signed up to in a bid to inspire others to kick the habit during Stoptober. It will see him run at least 28 miles a day for 28 consecutive days as he makes his way across the country.

The challenge got underway on September 9 in Salford, seeing him make his way to Norwich via Liverpool, Leeds, Portsmouth, Newcastle, Bristol, and Birmingham, before heading to London and Cardiff.

Mr Coleman said: “This is one of the biggest challenges I have ever taken on, but it was important for me to do something to support Stoptober. Twenty years ago I was a chain-smoking alcoholic who could barely run to the corner shop let alone a mile. To see the difference that stopping smoking has made to my life has been overwhelming and I want more people to take the first initial steps to quitting.”

“It takes determination and willpower to stop smoking but if an ex 40-a-day man can keep running for 28 days, hopefully it will inspire people to keep off the cigarettes for that long too.”

Mr Coleman has become well-known across the country, after running almost 200 ultra-marathons and setting nine Guinness World Records. He decided to take on the latest challenge to help raise awareness of Stoptober, which is now in its second year and aims to help smokers to quit for 28 days during October.

In Norwich, people will be able to commit to quit by attaching their pledge to a three metre high Stoptober wheel which will be in place at Norwich Haymarket. They will also be offered information about the help available from Smokefree Norfolk and will be invited to sign up to access support to quit.

Katie McGoldrick, Smokefree Norfolk lead advisor, said: “Giving up smoking is one of the single most important things you can do to improve your health. Rory is such as inspiration and shows exactly what you can achieve if you set your mind to it.”

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Posted by on September 24, 2013 in Tobacco Facts


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Smoking With Asthma During Pregnancy

New research from the University of Adelaide has shown for the first time that pregnant women who smoke as well as having asthma are greatly increasing the risk of complications for themselves and their unborn children.

In the first study of its kind in the world, researchers from the University’s Robinson Institute compared data from more than 170,000 Australian women over 10 years.

The results have been published online ahead of print in the European Respiratory Journal.

Lead author Dr Nicolette Hodyl says: “We know that being pregnant and having asthma poses risks to both the mother and the baby. We know that smoking poses risks to both the mother and the baby. But now we also know that the combination of these conditions represents a very dangerous situation.

“Asthma and smoking are separately linked during pregnancy to increased risk of bleeding from the birth canal before labor, urinary tract infections, premature rupture of membranes, low birth weight and preterm birth (less than 37 weeks of pregnancy).

“The combination of asthma and smoking greatly increases the risk of these complications during pregnancy.”

Dr Hodyl says 5.8% of pregnant women who were not asthmatic and non-smokers experienced a preterm birth. “For asthmatic women, the preterm birth rate increased to 6.5%. Among smoking women, 9.4% experienced preterm birth. And for asthmatic women who also smoked, the rate of preterm birth jumped to 12.7%, which is more than double the normal rate.

“This is an alarming statistic. We hope that pregnant women begin to understand the seriousness of this situation to their health and the health of their child,” she says.

Dr Hodyl says the research also uncovered another worrying statistic: about a quarter of pregnant women with asthma are smokers.

“While the rates of smoking have been decreasing in recent years, it is very concerning to us that many pregnant women with asthma are also smoking,” she says.

Quitting smoking during pregnancy is very difficult, and therefore pregnant women need as much support as possible from family, friends and health professionals. Our results show that even a reduction in the number of cigarettes women smoke per day can lead to some improvement to the risks to their child. However, the potential for poor health outcomes for both the mother and child should not be underestimated.”

This research has been funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

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Posted by on September 10, 2013 in Tobacco Articles


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17 Chinese Cities Join Smoke-Free Program

17 Chinese cities have benefitted from a program launched by the Emory Global Health Institute – China Tobacco Control Partnership (GHI-CTP) to to curb tobacco use.

Since an initial 2009 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Tobacco-Free Cities Program has resulted in the adoption of smoke-free policies and significant social norm change in 17 cities across China. These cities include Anshan, Changchun, Hangzhou, Kelamayi and Qingdao.

In Hangzhou, the Four Seasons, Santai, and Sheraton hotel chains are now smoke-free, while in Kelamayi, policies for smoke-free public places, workplaces and government agencies have been implemented.

“These cities have created smoke-free hospitals, workplaces, schools, government buildings and more. In addition to these targeted achievements, three cities have legislated total bans on smoking in public places, and we expect three more to adopt smoke-free public places policies this year,” says Prof. Jeffrey Koplan, Emory University vice president for global health.

Education and media campaigns on Weibo, print, radio and television have also been elements crucial to the program’s success in changing social norms.

“Our goal is to decrease tobacco-related disease and death by changing the social norms around tobacco use,” says Pamela Redmon, GHI-CTP executive director. “In addition to the smoke-free policies, we have created specific programs targeting pregnant women and families, community programs, smoke-free weddings, and cessation competitions using an innovative ‘Text2Quit’ platform.”

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Posted by on September 3, 2013 in Tobacco News


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