A COUNCIL'S health boss has urged people to use the coronavirus lockdown to quit smoking.

Blackburn with Darwen's Cllr Damian Talbot believes the respiratory disease's pandemic is ideal to push smokers into giving up.

He has backed a call by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) for people to ‘Quit for Covid’

Cllr Talbot's intervention follows a new YouGov survey showed that eight per cent of England’s smokers have tried to give up because of coronavirus.

He revealed that in Blackburn with Darwen, 80 people accessed local stop smoking services with a view to quitting during March and April.

During the same period another 50 people successfully stopped smoking for four weeks.

Cllr Talbot, the borough council's executive member for health and wellbeing, said: "Smoking is harmful for our immune system and our ability to fight off infections and smokers with coronavirus do seem to be at a greater risk of severe symptoms and complications.

"So now is the perfect time to ‘Quit for Covid’.

"There is help and support available locally through pharmacies that will give people a good chance of breaking away from their addictions and starting to feel the health and financial benefits of becoming smokefree.

"More information about stop smoking services in Blackburn with Darwen is availabe on the council's refresh website."