HEALTH professionals in Lancashire are encouraging people to stop smoking during Ramadan, and to continue to quit for good once the religious fasting period is over.

Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust’s Quit Squad wants to raise awareness of the dangers of both smoking and chewing tobacco.

Manager Julie Trezise said: “Ramadan is a great time to start some healthy habits and get rid of some unhealthy ones such as smoking. Quitting smoking certainly isn't easy, but when people see the real improvements it will make to their life and health, they will want to give it a go as soon as possible.

“Shisha or hookah has grown in popularity especially among young people but they are not always aware of the damage this can have on their health.

“People often think that shisha is less harmful than smoking cigarettes when in fact, one shisha or hookah session contains the same amount of nicotine as 200 cigarettes.”