Record numbers quit smoking

Sarah HallA record number of people in Norfolk have given up smoking - leading to a reduction in heart disease, strokes and other life-threatening diseases.Sarah Hall

A record number of people in Norfolk have given up smoking - leading to a reduction in heart disease, strokes and other life-threatening diseases.

More than 6,400 people quit the killer habit between April 2009 and March 2010 with help from NHS Norfolk and NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney.

Smokers giving up will see short and long term benefits to their health, including less chance of developing illness, disability or death caused by cancer, heart or lung disease; reduction in the risk of gangrene or amputation caused by circulatory problems; improved fertility levels and chances of a healthy pregnancy and improved breathing and general fitness.

Under NHS Norfolk during 2010/2011, 4,436 people gave up smoking and the primary care trust is aiming to help 7114 people to stop in 2010/2011.


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Jennie Pusey, commissioning manager of Stop Smoking Services at NHS Norfolk said: 'The health benefits to giving up smoking are enormous.

'Smoking is the single largest preventable cause of cancer and over one in four of all cancers are attributable to tobacco use, and 90% of lung cancer is directly attributable to smoking. The three most common causes of death from smoking are lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cardiovascular disease (heart and circulatory disease).

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'Over a period of time, an ex-smoker's risk of suffering from heart disease can fall to the level of someone who has never smoked. By stopping smoking, people can avoid smoking-related disease and live longer - by up to 10 years more.'

In the NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney area more than 2,000 smokers quit in the same period with the support of its Stop Smoking Service.

Vicki Snelgrove, tobacco control commissioning advisor for NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney, said: 'We know stopping smoking improves the health of people who suffer conditions such as coronary heart disease.

'Our figures show that while NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney continues to have a lower rate of emergency admissions for heart attacks compared to the East of England and England there has been no significant change since the smoking ban.'

New research released this week showed the number of heart attack hospital admissions have fallen since the smoking ban by about 2.5pc.

The national smoking ban was introduced in July 2007. The campaign 'Right Tools for the Job', highlights how it is much easier for people to quit with the right 'tools' .

For people serious about quitting smoking there is information, advice and details about where to go for help by ordering a free 'Quit Kit' from the NHS. Log onto smokefree.nhs.uk/ for more details.

Alternatively, you can go directly to any of the following for local stop smoking advice:

- Norfolk Stop Smoking Service - provides free, confidential advice and support on 0800 0854 113 or email stop.smoking@norfolk.nhs.uk

- GP surgery - All GP or practice nurses can offer advice and support. Many practices also have Stop Smoking Advisors based at the surgery.

- Pharmacies - Many Norfolk pharmacies now have a Stop Smoking Advisor based in their stores. Advisors can offer one-to-one advice and support.

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