Hartlepool smokers urged to quit - and enjoy the benefits

Lisa Surtees of Fresh is calling on people to quit smoking.

Lisa Surtees of Fresh is calling on people to quit smoking.

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Smokers in Hartlepool are being urged to quit the habit and be around longer for their families.

The call has come from the campaign group Fresh and has already won the support of bosses at the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.

We know that quitting smoking isn’t always easy, but people who receive support from their local stop smoking service find it easier to stop and are four times more likely to stay smokefree

Pat Marshall, stop smoking service manager

The Don’t be the 1 campaign from Fresh highlights how smokers have a one in two chance of dying from a habit-related disease if they keep smoking. But quitting brings benefits at any age.

Most people underestimate their risks of dying of a smoking-related illness, although six out of 10 say their family worries about them smoking.

A smoker’s risk of dying from a tobacco-related disease is infinitely more than the chances of being hit by a bus (around two in a million) or winning the National Lottery jackpot with six numbers (around one in 14 million).

Stop smoking service manager Pat Marshall said: “We know that quitting smoking isn’t always easy, but people who receive support from their local stop smoking service find it easier to stop and are four times more likely to stay smokefree.

“Our services offer support to all smokers who are trying to quit, including smokers who choose to use nicotine delivery devices not supplied by the NHS.”

Lisa Surtees, acting director of Fresh, said: “Quitting might not always be easy – but dying from a smoking-related disease is much harder.

“Quitting lowers your risk of dying early at any age, but the sooner you quit, the better.”

Smoking is the biggest preventable cause of death in the North East:

• Causing 16 types of cancer, heart disease, stroke and COPD, and increasing the risks of diabetes, dementia and blindness;

• Reducing life expectancy by 10 years on average and increasing the chances of life-limiting incapacity in older age;

• Killing 15 people a day in the North East resulting in 109,700 hospital appointments and outpatient visits, and 527,000 GP appointments every year.

Smoking is costing the NHS in the region £93m a year.

To find out how you can get help stopping smoking, visit www.nth.nhs.uk/services/stop-smoking-service/ or call (01642) 383819.