More help to quit smoking

More help is on hand to support people in Northumberland to stop smoking.

Saturday, 5th March 2016, 11:03 am
Updated Saturday, 5th March 2016, 09:07 am
New Northumberland NHS Stop Smoking Service recruits help residents to quit

Northumberland Stop Smoking Service has recruited eight new specialist advisors and is starting new sessions ahead of national No Smoking Day which takes place on Wednesday 9 March, an annual campaign encouraging people to quit.

The service, which is provided by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, now has over 100 advisors offering support across the county.

Brenda Warner, manager of the Northumberland Stop Smoking Service, said: “We know it’s not easy to quit but there’s lots of free support available. Our new recruits have more than doubled our capacity to help people to quit and we’re now able to offer support at new venues in Hexham, Blyth and Amble starting this month.

“A health trainer has also joined our team to provide advice and support to pharmacies so even more people can benefit from free NHS support.”

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Northumberland Stop Smoking Service provides a range of appointments across the county including at GP practices, pharmacies, and community centres. Some out-of-hours appointments are also available for those people who find it difficult to attend during the day. They also offer specialist support to women who are pregnant and want to quit.

Evidence shows people are four times more likely to quit for good if they have support from their local NHS stop smoking service.

New recruit Sarah Eardley, stop smoking advisor, urged people to get in contact to find out more about quitting smoking.

“With No Smoking Day coming up there is no better time to take the first step in giving up cigarettes for good,” said Sarah. “We work with people to develop their own individual quit plan which can include medications, e-cigarettes and support to deal with cravings, withdrawal and mood swings.”

David Lightley, from Stakeford, who quit with the service and remains smoke-free four years on, added: “Giving up takes a lot of will-power but it made it easier to have the support of the stop smoking service.

“I don’t think I would have managed without their help. Quitting was hard at first, but the tablets really helped me not to want a cigarette and now I know I’ll never go back to it.”

To receive information and support on stopping smoking, people living in Northumberland can contact Northumberland Stop Smoking Services by calling 01670 813 135 or visit www.northumbria.nhs.uk/stopsmoking

New sessions starting in 2016 include:

· Every Thursday 5pm-7pm from 25 February, at Boots, Maddison Street, Blyth

· Every Tuesday 5.30pm-7.30pm from 22 March, Burnbrae Surgery, Corbridge Road, Hexham

· Every Wednesday, 9am-11am from 23 March, Cromies Pharmacy, Percy Street, Amble