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Smokers will need help to kick habit; Families urged to lend their support.

Byline: Paul James Chief Reporter

HEALTH chiefs yesterday said around 50,000 smokers in the North East would be planning to try to quit in the New Year.

Fresh Smoke Free North East is urging families all over the region to play their part and help loved ones to quit.

The campaigners want smokers to be steered towards an NHS Stop Smoking Service, where people are four times more likely to quit than using willpower alone. A new survey by Fresh Smoke Free North East revealed:

10% of the sample of North East smokers say they're gearing up to quit from January 1 - based on 500,000 smokers in the North East.

Around 71% of North East smokers say they'd like to quit

Only 7% of smokers realise they're four times more likely to quit successfully using NHS support

Fresh's recent "Around the Corner" campaign highlighted 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.

Joanne Taylor, 37, from Wallsend, who is planning to use NHS support for a New Year quit attempt, said: "I feel awful being back on the cigarettes. It was chest infections that persuaded me to stop last time.

"Last time I stopped I was able to treat myself to all sorts of things I couldn't previously afford when you're spending up to pounds 120 on cigarettes a month.

Jen Anderson, of Newcastle and North Tyneside NHS Stop Smoking Services, said: "This is one of our busiest times of the year as people who smoke aim to make their New Year resolutions last.

"Quitting smoking is the best thing anyone can do to improve their health and using NHS support is far more effective than using willpower alone."

To find the nearest access point text "AROUND" and postcode to 88088, phone 0800 012 1612 or go to www.nhs.gov.uk/gosmokefree.co.uk
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Dec 26, 2008
Words:327
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