Earlier this month, dedicated manager of the Leicester Stop Smoking Service, Louise Ross, officially retired from a position that she had held for 14 years.
During that time, Louise had overseen more than 31,000 clients from across the city that have successfully quit smoking and has played a role in the national effort to cut smoking. In addition, Louise’s innovative approach saw the Leicester Stop Smoking Service become the first in the country to endorse the use of e-cigarettes as a way of stopping smoking.
Speaking to the Leicester Mercury – in a feature which was published on Friday 20 April – Louise’s former colleagues paid tribute to the impact her work had over the years.
Ruth Tennant, who is the director of public health at Leicester City Council, said: “Over the course of Louise’s career, she’s made a huge impact on smoking in the city, which under Louise’s leadership has seen smoking rates fall at a faster rate than we’ve seen across the rest of the country.
“Smoking remains the leading preventable cause of ill-health, linked to some of the city’s biggest killers such as heart disease and some common cancers.
“Louise’s work supporting people quit and to promote the benefits of smoke-free environments has been hugely important.
“Louise has also been a leading figure nationally and the service has been at the forefront of national and international studies that have helped understand what’s the best way to reduce smoking. We wish her all the best for her retirement”
Caz Humphreys, a Stop Smoking advisor, has worked with Louise twice in the past 30 years – first at Beaumanor House, near Loughborough, where she was the manager, and later at the Stop Smoking service.
Caz said: “I have had the privilege of working with Louise twice since the late 1980s. Beaumanor House, where she was manager for many years, was also a flagship service for the county and city councils.
“The Stop Smoking Service soon became the same under her leadership, too.
“She is the sort if boss that you want to do anything for.
“She’s is hands-on and hands-off at the same time, by enabling you and then trusting you to deliver.
“I have learnt so much from her.
“I know the team are set up to continue her brilliant work but we are bound to miss her immense talent.
“She bravely led the way with e-cigs and has become world renowned on the subject.
“She knew she had to do what was right by endorsing them even though at the time they were not quite politically correct.
“As a result potentially thousands of lives have been changed and even saved thanks to her trail blazing. I hope she has a long, happy well deserved retirement.”
Congratulations on a wonderful career, Louise – and best wishes in your retirement from everybody at the Leicester Stop Smoking Service.