Press Article: Quit while you shop! 01/02/10
Quit while you shop! 01/02/10
Friendly advisers from the NHS Stop Smoking Service will be out and about in Newcastle during February talking to smokers who want to find out more. The team will be outside Boots in Eldon Square in Newcastle from Monday, February 1 to Sunday, February 14.
Smokers will be able to stop, sit down and talk to a trained adviser at a special Pod” about giving themselves the best possible chance to quit in a way that suits them, from support and advice to medication to manage the cravings.
Ailsa Rutter, of Fresh Smoke Free North East, said: “Most smokers have tried to quit before. This is a great chance to stop by for an informal chat and find out more when you’re out shopping.
“Often people who smoke start the New Year with good intentions but are smoking again by the end of January – and feeling pretty bad about it. One of the main causes of lapses is not having the right support in the first place
“But you’re up to four times more likely to stop smoking successfully if you use NHS Stop Smoking Services than willpower alone. Nine out of ten people who use them say they would recommend them.
“We’d also welcome back anyone who has been to the Stop Smoking Service before and lapsed – you don’t always succeed on your first attempt, but the key is to give it another go.”
There are over 1,000 places in the region where smokers can get expert support and medication to deal with cravings, from GP surgeries to pharmacies, schools and community centres.
Local NHS Stop Smoking Services offer one-to-one or group sessions with trained stop smoking advisers, with expert advice about managing your cravings, dealing with stress, possible weight gain and the medicines available to help you.
Here’s 10 tips for smokers who have started smoking again but would like to give it another go:
1. Your best chance of quitting is through the NHS Stop Smoking Services. People can access help by phoning the Newcastle and North Tyneside NHS Stop Smoking Service on 0300 123 9290. Alternatively phone the national Helpline 0800 012 1612 or text “HEALTH” and your postcode to 88088.
2. Work out when you’re tempted to smoke. Is it when you’re having a drink, when you’re feeling stressed or with work colleagues? Change your routines and plan ahead to avoid these situations.
3. Find out how addicted you are - try the online Addiction Test at http://smokefree.nhs.uk/quit-tools/addiction-test/ Use one of the NHS approved aids to tackle the addiction – Nicotine Replacement Therapy, Varenicline or Bupropion with support to help you quit.
4. Make a list of reasons why you want to stop smoking to help you through any difficult moments. For example, if you have children, think about the effect it has on them. Almost all (96%) children with a smoking parent wish that they would quit
5. Take it one day at a time and use techniques such as going for a walk or doing something else with your hands when you get the cravings. Plan some exercise to put an extra stride in your step.
6. Ask your loved ones and friends to support you. Quit attempts are more successful if you’re not doing it alone. Try to find yourself a quitting partner such as your partner, work colleagues or a friend. Set a date to quit together and you will be able to give each other support.
7. Think about setting up a quitting club in your workplace where colleagues can support each other.
8. Reward yourself - think of how much cash you’re saving! For example, a couple smoking 20-a-day are in line to save more than £4,000 a year – the cost of a luxury holiday. Work out how long it will take you to save for your dream purchase by using the calculator http://smokefree.nhs.uk/quit-tools/cost-calculator/
9. Throw out your ashtrays, matches and lighters and anything else you needed to smoke. Put potpourri where your ashtrays used to be – your home will smell fresher in no time at all.
10. Don’t think ‘one cigarette won’t hurt’. You will be undoing all your great work and could make the cravings worse.
Latest figures show that 770,000 smokers nationwide tried to stop in Jan 2009 and data suggests that 5% are likely to last at least a year. The majority of successful quitters don’t stop on their first quit attempt. Four in five smokers have tried and failed to quit in the past, although those who quit with NHS support will increase their chances of quitting successfully by up to four times.
In the 10 years since NHS Stop Smoking Services were launched in 1999, advisers in the North East have helped 175,000 people to quit smoking. There are still around 460,000 people who smoke in the North East.