Step up to Stoptober to quit cigs habit

Wendy Martindale and Judith Rees (front on spacehoppers) from North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust's stop smoking service with quitters Ken Alder and Bill McKintosh (far right on spacehoppers) and members of Hartlepool Borough Council, Hartlepool College of Further Education and Cleveland Fire Brigade in front of the HMS Trincomalee
Wendy Martindale and Judith Rees (front on spacehoppers) from North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust's stop smoking service with quitters Ken Alder and Bill McKintosh (far right on spacehoppers) and members of Hartlepool Borough Council, Hartlepool College of Further Education and Cleveland Fire Brigade in front of the HMS Trincomalee

THE nation’s biggest-ever anti-smoking campaign is bouncing into Hartlepool.

Stoptober, a new 28-day Department of Health initiative supported by Fresh, is encouraging the North-East’s 460,000 smokers to make an attempt to kick the habit starting on October 1.

 Research shows those who stop smoking for 28 days are five times more likely to quit for good.

 People will be able to take advantage of more free support than ever, including a Stoptober kit, a daily messaging service and quitting app for computers and smartphones.

 Louise Wallace, director of public health for NHS Hartlepool and Hartlepool Borough Council, supports the campaign.

She said: “To make a quit attempt when you know thousands of other smokers throughout the country will be trying it with you is a great incentive to give it a go.

“Who knows, this may lead to stopping smoking for good.

“In Hartlepool we have one of the most successful stop smoking services in the country with friendly approachable staff on hand to offer the right kind of help and support.”

 Ailsa Rutter, director of Fresh, said: “Stopping for a month is a great achievement and really boosts your long term chances of staying quit.

 “If you smoke there’s countless reasons to stop.

 “You will feel better in yourself, lower your chances of a serious smoking-related disease like lung cancer, and have much more money in your pocket.”

 Pat Marshall, service manager at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust’s Stop Smoking Service, said: “With Stoptober, you are part of a large group of people who are all encouraging each other to quit together.

 “You can quit with family, friends, or your workplace.”

 To register for online help, visit smokefree.nhs.uk/Stoptober/ or for help to quit, call the local NHS Stop Smoking Service on (01642) 383819.