SMOKERS who want to give up the habit were today encouraged to take action with the help of the experts.
The advice from officials at the Hartlepool area stop smoking service comes on National No Smoking Day. And it includes the message “get help from us and you’ll have a better chance of quitting.”
More than one million smokers nationally are expected to pack in cigarettes today. Stop smoking service manager Pat Marshall, from the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, said: “No matter what their reasons, if people are thinking about quitting smoking, their best chance of success is to visit one of their local stop smoking sessions.
“Quitting smoking isn’t always easy. People who receive help and support from their local stop smoking service are much more likely to successfully quit and are four times more likely to stay smoke free.”
The offer of help comes at an ideal time. Last month, the Hartlepool Mail revealed that more town people were choosing to take up the habit than were packing in.
Despite regularly topping the charts for the number of people quitting smoking in the last decade, it has emerged that the number of people taking up the habit over the last 12 months has rocketed and now almost 25,000 people in town are lighting up.
But last year, Hartlepool still had the top performing Stop Smoking Service in the North-East with 2,874 smokers using the services and 1,230 quitting after four weeks.
North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust Stop Smoking Service has 20 clinics in Hartlepool and Stockton.
Sessions are also held in local pharmacies. People can attend drop-in sessions without booking and without referral from a health professional.
They will be offered one-to-one advice and support from trained advisors, and, if appropriate, prescriptions for a stop smoking treatment.
To find out more about stop smoking sessions, visit www.nth.nhs.uk/stopsmoking or phone (01642) 383819.