Don’t stop trying, next time could be the one where you succeed – that’s the message to Hartlepool’s smokers amid new evidence on quitting cigarettes.
New research has brought some welcome news for people who are doing their best to pack in.
Two thirds of smokers have tried more than once to quit, and the message to them all was “don’t get disheartened. Relapsing happens to many people”.
A recent survey by Fresh shows that more than eight in 10 North East smokers have tried to quit smoking before.
It also shows many smokers are cutting down with one in five smokers consuming five or fewer cigarettes a day compared to one in 10 in 2009.
The “average” smoker is on 12 a day compared to 18 a day in 1974.
Fresh is now encouraging smokers to try again this summer and not be put off by previous attempts, as every quit attempt is different.
Local stop smoking services can also boost the odds of success, with all services in the North East now welcoming people using electronic cigarettes to stop.
Pat Marshall, team lead for Stockton and Hartlepool Stop Smoking Service, said: “While some people manage to quit first time, we know that relapsing and trying again is part and parcel of quitting for many others. So go for gold this summer with the expert help of your local NHS Stop Smoking Service.”
Ailsa Rutter, director of Fresh, said: “People sometimes get disheartened that they’ve tried to quit and not succeeded, but if you’ve tried before, you can also come back wiser and more prepared. Even if you have tried before loads of times, it makes absolutely no difference to your chances of success next time. Thousands of people are quitting every year and next time it could be you.
“We know there is the will and the drive to quit here in the North East. It is good to see people are cutting down, but light smoking is still very harmful, so we’d urge smokers to give it another go this summer and have at least one go at quitting every year.”
After the age of about 35-40 years, for every day people carry on smoking they will lose an average of six hours of life.
But the moment they stop smoking, they start to recover a life expectancy at a rate of around six hours a day.
While many smokers choose to go it alone, there is a range of free quit coaching on offer at stop smoking services across the region.
Contact Stockton and Hartlepool Stop Smoking Service on (01642) 383819.
The national Smokefree website also has a quitting app, text support or Quit Kit available at http://www.nhs.uk/smokefree.