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Borough’s first citizen sets a shining example

Mayor of Nuneaton and Bedworth, Cllr Neil Phillips has joined thousands of people up and down the country in making a New Year’s resolution to quit smoking.


Cllr Phillips will be using the opportunity to raise money for his Mayor’s appeal, which this year will benefit the Mary Ann Evans Hospice. He is now encouraging other local people to join him in kicking the habit and raising money for the good cause.

Cllr Phillips has enlisted the support of the George Eliot Hospital run Warwickshire Stop Smoking Service via his local GP. He now has access to a specially trained Stop Smoking Advisor who can work with him to develop a quitting pathway that works for him.

Cllr Phillips, who previously smoked 30 cigarettes a day and is now using nicotine patches to reduce his cravings, said: “I’ve been aware for some time that my smoking hasn’t been sending out a very positive message to local people so I decided it was time to take the plunge. It was ironic that that my charity is the hospice, yet here I was, puffing away. By raising money for the Mary Ann Evans Hospice, I hope that local people will be able to share in some of the benefits I will be experiencing as a result of quitting smoking.

“It is tough going, but I am confident that with the support of my Stop Smoking Advisor Sharon, who has been brilliant and the incentive of raising money for a good cause I’ll be able to see it through.”

Janet Kavanagh from Mary Ann Evans said: “We’re really pleased for the Mayor that he has taken the decision to make such a positive change to his life and that he has chosen to use the opportunity to raise money for the hospice. Our service is predominantly run thanks to charitable donations from local people and we couldn’t do what we do without this support. I would urge anyone else looking to quit smoking in the New Year to join Councillor Phillips in raising money for the hospice.”

Smoking Cessation Advisor Zoe Jennison: “We’re delighted that the borough’s first citizen is setting a great example to local people by making this positive change to his life and as with everyone who uses our service, we will be there every step of the way to offer him practical support and advice.

“Councillor Phillips has been off the cigarettes for over four days now and research has shown that he will already be starting to feel the health benefits. These benefits include his blood pressure and pulse rate returning to normal, oxygen levels in the blood returning to normal, carbon monoxide and nicotine eliminated from his body, clearer lungs, improve ability to taste and smell and higher energy levels.”

Smoking Cessation Manager Jane Wright said: “Lots of people choose to give up smoking in the New Year and those that succeed enjoy the many health and financial benefits that come with kicking the habit. Quitting smoking is the single best thing you can do to improve your health and wellbeing and research has shown that smokers accessing an NHS Stop Smoking Service are up to four times time more likely to succeed than those going it alone.”

For more information on raising money for Mary Ann Evans Hospice contact Jacqueline on 02476 865450 or maehenquiries@geh.nhs.uk

For more information on the support available from the Warwickshire Stop Smoking Service, call 0800 085 2917, text ‘LIFE’ to 80800 or visit www.smokefreewarwickshire.org

To sponsor the Mayor and make a donation, cheques can be made out to ‘The Mayors Charity Appeal 2011-12’ and posted to the Town Hall, Coton Road, Nuneaton, CV11 5AA.