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Race day will spell out health risk to smokers; STUB-IT-OUT CAMPAIGNERS WILL STRESS THAT HABIT IS NO SAFE BET.

Byline: ARRYN BUGGINS

WARWICK RACECOURSE is hosting a race day with a difference to back a national anti-smoking campaign.

The Sunday afternoon racing event will have a smoke-free feel with 6ft comedy cigarette Ciggy Buttz passing information to race-goers on how to stop smoking.

The event will feature the No Smoking Day Trophy Handicap Hurdle race with a trophy presented by health chiefs.

Smoke Free Warwickshire hopes the serious message will encourage smokers to quit. And they want to encourage those who stop on Wednesday's No Smoking Day to keep going.

Leamington-based Sez-U theatre company will perform as Ciggy Buttz, and his nemesis Doctor Fresh, at the event.

The idea is to get the message across to crowds that stopping smoking is the best step a person can take to improve their health.

Denise Milnes, from Smoke Free Warwickshire, said: "We are delighted that the racecourse management are hosting our No Smoking Day event for us again this year.

"It is an excellent opportunity to spread the stop smoking message and encourage Warwickshire quitters to make it their year to stop for good.

"The link with horse racing is ideal to show the health risks associated with smoking.

"It is interesting that people will bet money on the races at odds of 20 to one and hope it will be them, yet smoke at a risk to health of two to one and hope it won't be them.

"On No Smoking Day each year, over a million people in the UK make a quit attempt and it is hoped that this year, many Warwickshire residents will join them."

Smokers can phone the NHS Smoking Helpline on 0800 169 0 169 for free advice on stopping smoking, or visit their GP's surgery for support from Warwickshire Stop Smoking Service.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Mar 8, 2004
Words:298
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