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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tony the Fridge backs work to cut smoking

Tony Phoenix Morrison – “Tony the Fridge” – has backed pioneering work to cut smoking in the North East as part of his efforts to reduce the toll of smoking-related cancer.

Tony, is currently taking part in the Smeg Endurance Challenge, in which he will run 40 marathons in 40 days in aid of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation by running 40 marathons with a 42k fridge on his back.

As well as fundraising for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, Tony has now decided to highlight the work of Fresh Smoke Free North East which aims to reduce smoking prevalence and the number of children who start smoking each year. His 40 marathons will see his fridge branded with the “Fresh – Making Smoking History” sign.

While Tony, 49, is now a fitness supremo as well as being a father of four and a granddad of two - he was once a smoker with an addiction spanning 30 years. Tony credits quitting smoking for his physical fitness. He quit smoking because he wanted to be around to see his children in the future and credits quitting smoking for his physical fitness.

Tony said: “I want to be proactive and give my support to organisations such as Fresh and the Bobby Robson Foundation because of the fantastic work they do. We’ve all lost friends and loved ones to smoking related disease and it’s an awful experience to have to go through. If we can help people quit smoking, it will save a lot of lives – I’ve seen the benefit of stopping smoking myself and having an improved quality of life.”

Ailsa Rutter, Director of Fresh, said: “Smoking is our biggest killer killing 11 people in the North East every day, shattering families. Our vision is to have a North East where young people can grow up free of the harm of tobacco. It is fantastic to have the support of someone so passionate and inspirational as Tony.”

Estimates(1) show that 14,813 people in the North East were diagnosed with new cases of cancer in 2009, with an estimated 2,874 cases due to smoking, while the North East had an estimated 2,122 deaths in the region from smoking related cancer in 2010.

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