Help at hand for Norfolk’s quitting smokers
Today, Ash Wednesday, is No Smoking Day, and thousands of people addicted to tobacco are being urged to stub out their cigarettes for good.
Norfolk's health trusts say today is the perfect opportunity for people to access the support on offer and workers from Smokefree Norfolk will be on hand around the county to give people advice.
The Smokefree team will be outside the Forum in Norwich today from 9am to 5pm, offering people information about the harm smoking can cause, the support on offer and inviting people to hop aboard their camper van to speak privately to one of their specially-trained stop smoking advisers.
Members of the team will also be running a stall at King's Lynn's Vancouver Quarter shopping centre, outside the Argos store, from 9am to 5pm. Other non-staffed information stands will be spread across the county, including at Norwich Community Hospital, North Walsham Community Centre, St James' Swimming and Fitness Centre near King's Lynn and at the Riverside Leisure Centre in Norwich.
So far this year the Smokefree Norfolk team, which is a service provided by Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust, has helped about 1,500 people to quit.
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To encourage even more smokers to kick the habit on No Smoking Day, the team will be offering a free week's supply of nicotine replacement patches to the first 50 people who visit one of their staffed stalls to sign up to receive support from the service to quit smoking.
People who quit on No Smoking Day and remain smokefree for more than four weeks will also be entered into a prize draw to win free passes to a range of activities across Norfolk.
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Smokefree Norfolk team leader, Katie McGoldrick, said: 'Smoking is probably the biggest cause of preventable death in the UK and pledging to kick the habit could be the most important thing you have ever done.'
To discuss the support on offer to help smokers give up, call freephone 0800 0854 113. Alternatively, visit Smokefree Norfolk's website at www.smokefreenorfolk.nhs.uk, or speak to your GP or local pharmacist.
An NHS Norfolk health trainer service is also available and runs in King's Lynn, Norwich and Thetford. In King's Lynn call 01553 782629, in Norwich call 01603 625093 and in Thetford call 01842 757341. To find out more about the service, visit the NHS Norfolk website at www.norfolk.nhs.uk and click on 'Your Services'.