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Quit smoking with support this Stoptober

Smokers are being encouraged to use Public Health England’s new online personal quit plan tool and support from advisors at Smokefree Norfolk to help them quit.

Stoptober, the national quit smoking campaign, starts on Monday 1 October.

Margaret Dewsbury Chairman of Communities Committee explains: “The best way to quit is with expert face-to-face help from local stop smoking services together with stop smoking aids.

“People who get support are up to four times as likely to quit successfully as those who try to quit unaided. There are plenty of tools available to help support whether it’s the free online personal quit plan, nicotine patches, gum or e-cigarettes, and SmokeFree Norfolk trained advisors are available to help at every step of the journey.”

Austin, aged 46 from Norwich, shares his quit story: “I used to smoke between 20 and 30 cigarettes a day. My family were concerned about the impact of smoking on my health and started piling on the pressure onto me, they didn’t want my life to be cut short due to smoking and obviously neither did I.

“Smokefree Norfolk give clear reasons about why I should give up, I knew it was unhealthy but I’d tried many many times before to give up and just hadn’t been successful. I’d heard about e-cigarettes but not as a means to give up smoking. I just fancied trying one as an experiment and plus it meant I could vape indoors rather than going outside to smoke. I used it now and again and soon realised that if I had the willpower to just use the e-cigarettes for a week I could probably quit smoking real cigarettes, and that’s exactly what I did.

“After that week I never smoked cigarettes again. I felt that my breathing was much improved, I felt far calmer too. As a smoker you can feel quite trapped, it makes you feel agitated and just the simple need for a cigarette can increase your stress levels. I’m really pleased I’ve finally been able to quit smoking, and my family are too.”

E-cigarettes can be a useful tool to help you give up smoking. Smokers looking for support to quit can contact Smokefree Norfolk on 0800 0854113 or they can head to their local pharmacy or GP.

Dr Louise Smith from Norfolk County Council Public Health said: “Over the last few years smoking prevalence in Norfolk has fallen compared to the national average. However, it still remains a problem amongst routine and manual workers as well as women who are pregnant, where figures show that smoking is significantly higher than the England average. Smoking is still one of the biggest causes of preventable death in Norfolk with 238.4 per 100,000 people aged 35 and over dying because of smoking related diseases”.

For smokers who aren’t sure how to make that first step in giving up, the online Stoptober personal quit plan tool may be helpful as it can help smokers find their best stop smoking tools. The tool will ask 3 questions establishing smokers’ level of addiction and quit aids previously used to assess the best tool for them. Smokers can access the free personal quit plan.

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