THOUSANDS of Lancashire residents took part in the national Stoptober campaign this year to help them quit smoking.

More than 4,300 residents took part in the month-long health drive which has resulted in Lancashire County Council generating the biggest sign-up rates for any local authority in the North West.

Stoptober is run nationally by Public Health England and aims to encourage people to give up smoking for good during the month of October.

County Councillor Azhar Ali, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: "I'm pleased that Stoptober has been such a success in Lancashire.

"Smoking kills as well as causing a whole host of illnesses, and 22 per cent of Lancashire's population smoke – that's much higher than the national average.

"It's vital that we encourage people to do all they can to quit for good and Stoptober is a great campaign because it urges people to get help rather than trying to give up alone.

"I'm pleased it's been such a huge success and that so many people in Lancashire have taken their first steps to quitting. If they haven't already, it's not too late to stop now and their local stop smoking service will help."