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Go smokefree for a healthier, wealthier life

Wednesday, 02 July, 2014
Go smokefree for a healthier, wealthier life

People across Northumberland are being encouraged to quit on this year’s No Smoking Day tomorrow and take steps towards a healthier and wealthier life.

This year’s No Smoking Day on Wednesday 13 March invites people to swap fags for swag and is all about what smokers will gain when they quit – as well as improved health, they’ll have extra cash to spend.

Northumberland Stop Smoking Service, which is provided by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, is encouraging smokers to use the experience of local quitters as their motivation to set their own quit date on No Smoking Day.

Elaine Nicholson, housewife and mother of four in Blyth is now thousands of pounds better off after celebrating 18 months smokefree. She put the money she would have spent on fags over that time to good use by splashing out on redecorating her home.

She was initially reluctant to quit but decided the time had come to kick the habit after her husband Keith went to the stop smoking service at Blyth Community Hospital for help.

Elaine said: “Before I quit, I was putting one cigarette out and then I was thinking about the next one, which ended up with me smoking 50 cigarettes a day.

“I knew I should quit because I’ve got a family history of heart disease, but I didn’t believe I could actually do it. Quitting is the best thing I’ve ever done.”

Alison Nichol, Northumberland Stop Smoking Service manager at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “It’s never too late to stop smoking, and I would urge anyone who is thinking of quitting to pop along to the drop-ins and see what help is available. Thousands of Northumberland residents quit each year, proving it can be done.”

Northumberland Stop Smoking Service has more than 100 advisors based in GP practices and pharmacies, and there are over 40 clinics per week in a range of venues – including community centres and supermarkets throughout Northumberland. These provide one-to-one support during the day, in the evenings and at weekends as well.

Until the end of March, drop-in sessions are being held from 4.30pm to 7pm at Hirst Welfare, Ashington, on Wednesdays and at Briardale Community Centre, Blyth, on Thursdays.

People who quit through the NHS stop smoking service are up to four times more likely to stop than if they go it alone. If you would like support to quit, contact Northumberland Stop Smoking Service on 01670 813 135 or www.northumbria.nhs.uk/stopsmoking or get online support from www.smokefree.nhs.uk

For more information on No Smoking Day visit: www.nosmokingday.org.uk

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