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Celebrating smokefree pregnancy with creative sculpture!

A beautiful and extraordinary sculpture ‘Air to Breathe’ celebrating Smokefree pregnancy has recently been unveiled outside the maternity department of Wythenshawe Hospital.

The Trust’s stop smoking service has been working in partnership with Wythenshawe Community Housing Group, who funded the project and South Manchester University Hospital NHS Trust, to create this sculpture inspired by a baby’s need for oxygen to grow and develop properly during pregnancy.

Local community artists Adrian and Siobhain Moakes were commissioned to work with pregnant women, their partners and families, along with maternity and children’s centre staff in workshops across Wythenshawe. During the workshops people were asked to look at their own baby scan photos and create little wire sculptures of their own. The artists then reflected these in the final design - welding together the shapes for the central part to become an abstract foetus inside an abstract protective womb. Air blows through the whole sculpture.

Siobhain said: “We were trying to show a positive image, ‘Air to Breathe’, inspired by a baby’s need for oxygen during pregnancy. The result is this beautiful long lasting piece of artwork. Along with the sculpture, we have a photographic record on permanent display mounted on the walls inside the maternity entrances showing images from the workshops held across Wythenshawe”.

Bridget Hughes, General Manager of the Trust’s Health and Wellbeing Service, said: “Partnership working has enabled us to reduce the rates of smoking in pregnancy. In the Health and Wellbeing Service we have a strategy of training everyone who comes into contact with any women who might be pregnant, including midwives, health visitors, staff in children’s centres and community groups. More importantly, however, the success has been the women themselves who have stopped smoking during pregnancy.

“With funding from Wythenshawe Community Housing Trust we’ve had a great opportunity to promote awareness of Smokefree pregnancy. We want to continue to encourage and support innovative partnership working, as it’s the only way we can run campaigns like this with limited resources. I just want to thank all those involved.”

Michaela Dixon, one of the parents who took part in the workshop and unveiled the sculpture on the day said: “I really enjoyed being part of the project. It really meant a lot to me. I am grateful for the opportunity given by the artists. It’s a privilege to make a contribution based on my children, who were born in Wythenshawe Hospital, as a long lasting piece of history. It’s a great project which involved local women, making the artwork more real. It makes the message of Smokefree pregnancy more powerful for that reason. Thank you to everyone for allowing me the opportunity to be involved in a great project.”

Over the last year in Manchester, smoking rates at time of delivery went down to 12.5%. Good news for women and their babies, who are more likely to be born at full term, of healthy weight and well – benefits that last a lifetime.

For more information on smokefree pregnancy or support to quit smoking
visit: or tel: .

Click here for press release.

Last Updated 23-01-14
First Stop Health Bus

Members of the public are welcome aboard the First Stop Health Bus for free advice and support to stop smoking along with Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) health check.
During your health check, your risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and diabetes will be assessed and you will be offered personalised advice and support to help you lower that risk.
In order to be eligible for a NHS health check you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must live in or be registered with a GP in Greater Manchester
  • You must be aged between 40-74 years
  • You must not have been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes

The bus will be parked from 10am-6pm in the following locations in Manchester throughout May 2014:

First Stop Health Bus Venue


Tesco, Victoria Avenue East, Blackley M9 6PH

Thursday 1 May

St Modwen Centre, Wythenshawe M22 5RQ

Saturday 3 May

Asda Eastlands, Ashton New Road M11 4BD

Tuesday 6 May

Tesco, Victoria Avenue East, Blackley M9 6PH

Thursday 8 May

St Modwen Centre, Wythenshawe M22 5RQ

Saturday 10 May

Asda Eastlands, Ashton New Road M11 4BD

Tuesday 13 May

Tesco, Victoria Avenue East, Blackley M9 6PH

Thursday 15 May

St Modwen Centre, Wythenshawe M22 5RQ

Saturday 17 May

Moston Lane, 276 Moston Lane, Moston M40 9WB

Monday 19 May

Asda Eastlands, Ashton New Road M11 4BD

Tuesday 20 May

Tesco, Victoria Avenue East, Blackley M9 6PH

Thursday 22 May

St Modwen Centre, Wythenshawe M22 5RQ

Saturday 24 May

The First Stop Health Bus is a NHS Greater Manchester initiative which takes NHS services out of traditional settings and in to the heart of the community.
For more information tel: Call:
or visit

Last Updated 14-05-14
Artist wanted for new Wythenshawe community project

A new project that will promote the importance of a smokefree pregnancy is seeking a talented, local artist.

A partnership between Wythenshawe Community Housing Group, University Hospital of South Manchester and the Trust’s Public Health Development Service is searching for an artist to develop and deliver a smokefree pregnancy-themed public art project.

The successful candidate will work with a small group of mums-to-be over the coming months to create a permanent piece of artwork to be situated outside the entrance of Wythenshawe Hospital’s maternity department, as well as a photographic record of development and production of the artwork for display inside the maternity unit.

Commenting on the project, Ali Reid, Project Lead and Senior Public Health Development Advisor for Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust said: “This is an exciting opportunity that will not only engage with pregnant women and their partners but create a lasting legacy in a piece of art. We’re delighted to be working with Wythenshawe Community Housing Group, University Hospital of South Manchester’s maternity unit who will host the artwork and facilitate the project but most importantly, local women, to promote a smokefree pregnancy.”

The maternity unit was chosen for its levels of pregnant women who described themselves as smokers when they were using the service in 2012-13. According to the Health and Social Care Information Centre almost one in seven (15%) smoked while pregnant, higher than the national average of 13%.

“We’re hoping that the new artwork will celebrate healthy growth,” added Ali. “Smoking while pregnant means both mother and baby have thick, sticky blood full of poisons and the baby can’t get enough oxygen to develop properly. Just 24 hours after stopping smoking, both mum and baby get the right amount of oxygen. And not spending money on cigarettes means there is more money for other things too.”

The project, funded by Wythenshawe Community Housing Group and Manchester Public Health Development Service, also wants to hear from pregnant women who are quitting smoking and live within reach of Wythenshawe Hospital to get involved. For more information on the project please contact Ali Reid.

For further advice on smoking cessation, ask your midwife or call the Manchester Stop Smoking Service for an appointment on the same number.

The deadline for submissions from artists is Friday 7th February 2014.

Click here for Press Release.

Last Updated 23-01-14
Duncan Selbie visits health initiatives in Manchester
Duncan Selbie Image

Duncan Selbie, CEO Public Health England talking to Sonia Andrade, Associate Director Public Health Manchester (Commissioner for Manchester Stop Smoking Service)

Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive Officer for Public Health England visited some of the health initiatives that have been set up in partnership between the Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust’s, Public Health Development Service and Manchester City Council.

Duncan said: “I was impressed to see the multi agency teams supporting alcohol awareness the NHS Health Check programme and the brilliant innovative Bus reaching those who might not attend more conventional settings, and finally the sexual health teams delivering GUM, HIV and contraceptive care across the City. Words are insufficient to convey the value each was adding to health and wellbeing and it was a privilege to meet them.”

Last Updated 22-11-13
Our latest winner in the Smokefree Homes prize draw

Kelly from Harpurhey is the lucky winner of £250’s worth of high street vouchers in the Smokefree Homes prize draw. Kelly pledged to keep her home smokefree and to quit smoking herself. She has now been quit for 8 months having smoked for 12 years. Kelly who has 2 young children, said ‘ I am really proud of myself for quitting as I know how harmful it is for the person who smokes and people around them. I want to protect my children from secondhand smoke and set a good example as a parent. I won’t ever go back to smoking’.

Congratulations Kelly!

Smokefree Homes Winner Kelly Image

Kelly with Chris Love being presented her prize

Last Updated 04-10-13
Stoptober challenge for Manchester
Stoptober Logo

During October, people who smoker in Manchester are being encouraged to quit together, as Stoptober - the nation's biggest ever mass participation stop smoking challenge - launches for its second year.

The Stop Smoking Service is supporting the Public Health England campaign in a bid to support local people to quit through exciting local events and activities including a Stoptober event which was held on September 14th 10am-6pm at the Fort Shopping Centre, Cheetham Hill.

Stoptober quitters will receive a new stop smoking pack, a 28-day mobile phone app and text support with daily updates and quitting advice, detailed tools and tips for coping, as well as the encouragement and support from thousands of people quitting together through Stoptober social media.
People who currently smoke are also encouraged to get in touch with their local stop smoking service, as research shows you are four times more likely to quit with this extra support than stopping on your own.

David Regan, Director of Public Health said: "We want to help as many people as possible in Manchester to quit. There is a wide range of support available. For example our local stop smoking services are doing a great job, and last year thousands of people successfully quit with their help.
"If you've been thinking about quitting, now is the time to do it. It isn't always an easy journey but with the support of friends, family, Stoptober resources and your local stop smoking service, everyone can help each other to reduce the number of smokers in Manchester".

The campaign returns as new research shows that every day a person goes without cigarettes could add as much as six hours to their lives. For the 28 day duration of Stoptober this equals a full seven days. Research also suggests that if you stop smoking for 28 days you are five times more likely to kick the habit for good.

Last year over 160,000 people successfully quit. And although most people will start their quit journey on the 1st October, people can quit at any time during the month and still receive specialist support.
The campaign launches as new figures released by local anti-tobacco organisation Tobacco Free Futures, estimates that there are currently 107,475 smokers in Manchester and every year addiction to tobacco costs the local authority £177million through loss of productivity due to early death and illness, NHS costs, litter and fires.

Andrea Crossfield, Chief Executive of Tobacco Free Futures said: "The tobacco industry works hard to keep people smoking. Stoptober is a great chance to break away from this addiction and start to feel the health and financial benefits of becoming smokefree.

"As well as the money saved from stopping smoking - an average of £4,000 a year for two parents who smoke(3) - quitters will start to notice immediate health improvements including a better sense of smell and taste and more energy. Longer term, those who stop smoking reduce their risk of heart disease and lung cancer as well as protecting others from their secondhand smoke".

Stoptober 2013 starts on Tuesday 1 October and runs for 28 days. For more information and to sign up visit

For more information contact Manchester Stop Smoking Service Team.

Whalley Range Cricket and Lawn Tennis Club encourages a smoke-free environment
Whalley Range Tennis Club Banner

Whalley Range Cricket and Lawn Tennis Club encourages a smoke-free environment, both in the club house and on the field of play. Even at amateur level, cricketers and tennis players are increasingly athletic, watching their diets and avoiding harmful substances so that their fitness is maximised. In particular, we promote a healthy lifestyle to our junior players and take a dim view of them smoking. But we are aware that some of them return to a home environment where smoking cigarettes is acceptable. Education about the dangers of passive smoking is part of the relationship between sport and healthy lifestyles, and is vital if our young players are going to achieve success as players and as citizens. We are delighted to be working with Manchester’s Stop Smoking Service to help drive this message home.

Smoking Tobacco

It is commonly believed that sheesha (also known as narghiles, hookah or hubbly bubbly) is not as harmful to health as smoking cigarettes. THIS IS NOT TRUE. Passing through the water makes no difference to the high levels of toxic compounds including carbon monoxide, heavy metals and cancer-causing chemicals.

Sheesha users are at an increased risk of mouth and gum disease. Sharing a sheesha mouthpiece also poses a serious risk of transmission of communicable diseases, including TB an hepatitis. Secondhand smoke from sheesha is also a risk to the health of non-smokers, it is a mixture of tobacco smoke breathed out plus smoke from the fuel used to heat the pipe.


Last Updated 01-07-13
Manchester has more smokefree babies than ever before!

7012 babies were born smokefree in Manchester last year (2012-13) - giving them the very best start in life.

If you’re pregnant or thinking about having a baby, now’s the time to stop smoking completely.

Talk to your midwife or contact the stop smoking service by clicking here.

Last Updated 01-07-13
Stopping smoking brings double reward thanks to Trust service
A Collyhurst woman has earned a double reward for stopping smoking after winning a prize draw.

Maria won £250 worth of high street vouchers in the Smokefree Homes prize draw, held at the Christmas Coffee Morning event at the Church of the Saviour in Collyhurst recently.

Maria, pictured centre with Reverend Chris Fallone and Kate Griffiths, stopped smoking 5 weeks ago with support from a community stop smoking advisor and registered her home smokefree. She was delighted at winning the money.

Maria Cunningham Image

Reverend Chris Fallone, Maria Cunningham and Kate Griffiths

"I've been trying to stop smoking for 18 months to two years," she said. "I used to go to the stop smoking drop-in stall on Harpurhey Market, but decided to come to the drop-in at Church of the Saviour. I saw it advertised on the banner up on the railings outside the church and my children go to the school nearby.

"I started coming to the service here in September and I have been dropping in faithfully every week. I find the support excellent; I feel great, much healthier and I've saved lots of money. I've even been able to buy myself an 18 carat gold ring with the money I've saved!
"I'm really surprised and overwhelmed by winning the £250 of high street vouchers. It's a great Christmas present. Thank you so much.

"I'd say to anyone trying to quit smoking to keep trying and get support. It will keep you motivated and you will eventually quit like I did!"

Manchester Stop Smoking Service provides support in many places across the city including pharmacies, hospitals and clinics as well as local markets. The service is open to anyone who lives or works in Manchester.

For more information call or text smoke with your name to 81025.

Last Updated 05-06-13
Allison shares her stop smoking story on BBC TV
Allison Whiteside recently shared her stop smoking story with BBC TV on Harpurhey Market. A film crew from North West Tonight visited the market to see first hand the stop smoking support available for local people. Reporter Abbie Jones interviewed Allison who said:

“I’ve stopped smoking for my children. I have tried to stop smoking before but just couldn’t do it. I knew I needed help. I was shopping one day on Harpurhey Market when I saw this stop smoking stall and decided to get support from one of the advisors. I have managed to stop smoking now but I wouldn’t have done it without their support.”

Abbie Paton, Acting Manager, Manchester Stop Smoking Service said: “People can pop down to get support to stop smoking as they do their shopping. The service is close to where people live and is easy to access.”

The filming was part of feature on a conference that was held in Manchester where councillors pledged to work locally and collaboratively towards a tobacco free future, by making smoking history for children.

The conference was attended by Public Health Minister Anne Milton and leading local authority figures. Discussions focused on how they can tackle tobacco in our local communities.

Allison Whiteside BBC Image

Allison Whiteside, local client from Harpurhey, speaks to reporter Abbie Jones BBC North West Tonight

Allison Whiteside BBC ImagePhoto:
Allison Whiteside with Sarah Cooke, Community Stop Smoking Advisor – Harpurhey Market..
The filming on the market was an ideal opportunity to showcase partnership work between the Trust’s stop smoking service and Manchester City Council.

Manchester Stop Smoking Service provides support in many places across the city including pharmacies, hospitals and clinics as well as local markets. The service is open to anyone who lives or works in Manchester.

For more information call or text smoke with your name to 81025.
Last Updated 05-06-13
Use ancient dental stick to help quit smoking during Ramadan!
Ramadan is a good time for you to stop smoking and if you need support to quit contact Manchester Stop Smoking Service. Along with help from one of our specialist advisors, When you sign up to stop smoking during Ramadan, you will be given a Miswak dental stick free of charge as an aid to help you quit.

The Miswak, is an ancient oral health stick which originates from Egypt and is made up of branches and bark from the Arak tree1.

There is anecdotal evidence to suggest that the Miswak stick is sometimes used as an alternative to smoking as it mimics the hand to mouth action if you smoke. Its soft fibres also act as a toothbrush to keep teeth and gums clean. However here in Manchester the dental promotion team always promote its use alongside a toothbrush for effective removal of plaque.

Dental Stick Ramadan Image

Photo: Abbie Paton, Acting Manager, Manchester Stop Smoking Service, Mohammed Raza, client who received NHS support to stop smoking & Aurangzaib, Specialist Stop Smoking Advisor – all showing Miswak and toothbrush for oral hygiene throughout Ramadan.

To enjoy a smokefree Ramadan and get your free Miswak stick, call Manchester Stop Smoking Service for support to quit – tel: .

Click on the links below for more information on the Miswak dental stick.

  1. Miswak (chewing stick): A Cultural and Scientific Heritage. Saudi Dental Journal 1999/Volume 11 Number 2; 80-88 (pg 1 para: 5)
  2. Miswak (chewing stick): A Cultural and Scientific Heritage. Saudi Dental Journal 1999/Volume 11 Number 2; 80-88 (pg 4 item 6)
  3. Press Release – Ancient dental stick to help quit smoking during Ramadan. Click here for more information.
Last Updated 05-06-13
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Recent News
New Smokefree Health Harms campaign
Updated - 06/01/14
Public Health England’s new campaign is raising awareness of the harm smoking does to your body. The hard hitting new advertising shows the damaging effect that toxins from smoking have on the blood, lungs, heart and brain.

Smokefree Cars campaign launched across Greater Manchester
Updated - 19/12/13
A new campaign has been launched to encourage people to keep their cars Smokefree to protect children and young people from breathing in the harmful effects of secondhand smoke.