Smokers in St Helens are being urged to use the recent No Smoking Day as a spur to kick the habit for good.
No Smoking Day was on Wednesday (March 9) with support being offered by City Health Care Partnership (CHCP) CIC’s Smokefree St Helens team.
While studies show that two-thirds of smokers want to quit, nearly one in five UK adults continue to smoke, including over 19 per cent in St Helens.
Julie Tipton, manager of Smokefree St Helens, said: “We understand that the majority of smokers want to quit, but many find the task too daunting.
“No Smoking Day is the perfect opportunity to inspire smokers in St Helens to stop smoking for good.
“With support, smokers are more likely to succeed in their quit attempt. That's why CHCP CIC will be out in force on No Smoking Day, telling smokers about the range of local services and resources available to them.”
Liz Gaulton, Director of Public Health at St Helens Council, said: “Even if you have tried to quit before it is worth trying again.
“It is never too late to stop and the benefits to your pocket and your health are immediate."
A 20-year-old pregnant mum is one of those who have successfully quit with the help of the service.
She said: “I started smoking at 15 and I was smoking 15 to 20 cigarettes a day. I contacted the service when I was nine weeks pregnant with my second baby, as I’m older and wiser with this one and I wanted to do the right thing for my child.
“My midwife recommended Smokefree St Helens and it’s been really good.
Anne-Marie [stop smoking practitioner] comes to my house for one-to-one visits and I found they really supported me in quitting. I tried patches for one day but then just decided to go ‘cold turkey’ and her constant praise and motivation really help. I also enjoy doing the carbon monoxide reading and getting under three parts per million, so I know my baby’s safe.
“It’s been a bit difficult when I’ve been around family who smoke, but they are supportive and go outside. I told them they could quit with me and Anne-Marie would see them too but they’re not ready yet.
“I feel so much better in myself and I’m really proud that I’m giving my baby the best start in life. I’d recommend the service to anyone who wants to give up smoking; just try it, you’ll surprise yourself at how determined you can be. I’m looking forward to a smokefree pregnancy with Anne-Marie’s support.”