THE town with the UK’s biggest quit-smoking rate is on the campaign trail again.
Smokers across Hartlepool are being urged to mark No Smoking Day by kicking the habit for good.
And while the national day of action is officially on Wednesday, Hartlepool is getting in on the act from today.
The Stranton Centre in Southburn Terrace will host a display until Friday and the centre’s health trainer, Ann Banks, will offer advice and information.
Health trainers will also be offering stop-smoking support at Mill House Leisure Centre, in Raby Road, from 12pm-2pm tomorrow, and at The Annexe, in Wharton Terrace, throughout the day on Wednesday.
On the same day, a specialist Stop Smoking Advisor from the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust will be staffing a stand in the foyer of the town’s ASDA store, from 10am-2pm.
Cleveland Fire Brigade staff will also be at ASDA to offer free home fire safety checks.
Hartlepool Borough Council has joined forces with the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust to organise events to raise awareness of the effects of smoking and the help on offer to smokers wanting to quit.
Steven Carter, Hartlepool Borough Council’s workplace health improvement specialist, said: “Hartlepool has the highest number of successful quitters nationally but, nevertheless, is still significantly above the national and regional averages for smoking-attributable deaths, particularly strokes and lung cancer, and smoking-attributable hospital admissions.
“No Smoking Day coincides with the beginning of Lent this year and carries the banner Time to Quit?
“We hope it will provide the impetus for many people to finally kick the habit.
“Through the awareness-raising events, we want to reassure people wishing to quit that there is a lot of help available locally via drop-in clinics and pharmacies and they are not on their own.”
More details are available from the Stop Smoking Service on (01642) 635650 and from the No Smoking Day campaign group on 0800 1690169.
Information about No Smoking Day can be found at www.nosmokingday.org.uk and support to quit is available at www.wequit.co.uk