DOZENS of people will be ending their cigarette habit for good next month – and the experts are there to give a helping hand.
Members of the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust are planning to be out in force to help push a campaign to encourage smokers to quit.
Stoptober is a 28-day initiative from Public Health England and backed by the anti-smoking group Fresh. It urges smokers across the country to try and quit from Tuesday, October 1.
The trust’s stop smoking service will be out and about in the Middleton Grange shopping centre in Hartlepool on Wednesday, September 25, Friday, September 27, and Wednesday, October 16.
An empty shop front in the centre will be decorated with details about Stoptober and about the trust’s stop smoking service.
Many workplaces and businesses in Hartlepool will also be promoting the campaign in a drive to improve employee health.
In Hartlepool, the stop smoking service runs nine drop-in sessions to support smokers to stop.
A support service including advice and treatment is also offered through four Hartlepool pharmacies.
The trust’s stop smoking service manager, Pat Marshall, said: “Stoptober is a great time for smokers to make a positive change in their lives and quit smoking.
“It’s a time when family, friends and colleagues who smoke can all make a start to quitting together.
“People who quit for 28 days are five times more likely to stay smoke free, with expert help and advice from their NHS stop smoking service.
“We will be out in the community publicising the service and details about Stoptober to as many people as possible.
“We want to challenge smokers to accept our help and make a start with improving their health by quitting 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 – among many other benefits.
“It’s great to see health trusts, universities and companies from across the region have backed this campaign.
“It’s vitally important we use campaigns like this to encourage as many smokers as possible to quit.
“Once they have gone a month without smoking, their chances of staying that way are far higher.
“The stop smoking service is always available to these people to ensure everything is done to give smokers the best chance of kicking the habit.”
Anyone wanting to quit smoking, and people in need of support, should contact the trust’s stop smoking service on (01642) 383819.
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