A HEALTH trust is backing a campaign which encourages smokers to quit cigarettes.
The North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust is supporting the national stop smoking campaign Stoptober throughout the month of October.
Stoptober is a 28-day initiative, which is backed by the anti-smoking group Fresh.
It urges smokers across the country to stop smoking. Organisers say Stoptober is a great time for smokers to make a positive change in their lives and quit. It’s a time when family, friends and colleagues can all make a start together.
People who quit for 28 days are five times more likely to stay smoke free. This is one of the reasons why Stoptober is such a fantastic campaign.
The trust’s stop smoking manager Pat Marshall said: “Talking to someone who knows what you’re going through and is there for you along the way can make a huge difference. Stop smoking medicines can help with nicotine withdrawal symptoms like cravings, headaches and feeling irritable.
“We tailor our service to support every individual smoker to give them the best possible chance of quitting. Up to 12 weeks of help are on offer from your local NHS services, so if you start now for Stoptober you will have quit smoking by Christmas.
“Not only will you be smoke free and healthier, but a 20 a day smoker will save up to £670 to help with presents and festivities.
“No matter what their reasons, if people are thinking about quitting smoking, their best chance of success is to visit one of their local NHS stop smoking sessions. We see thousands of people at our sessions and we want to continue to see more.”
Friendly help to is on offer at stop-smoking sessions as well as at pharmacies and GP practices across Hartlepool, Stockton, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland.
Pat added: “Quitting smoking isn’t always easy. People who receive help and support from their local stop smoking services are much more likely to successfully quit and are up to four times more likely to stay smoke free.
“Stoptober is a great time for smokers to make a positive change in their lives and quit smoking.
“If people stop smoking, they will soon feel fitter, will save money, will have better skin and teeth and will reduce the risk of any serious smoking related diseases.”
Anyone wanting to quit smoking can find out about their local stop smoking sessions at http://www.nth.nhs.uk/services/stop-smoking-service/. They can also call (01642) 383819.