Tom Brake encourages local smokers to kick the habit

March 9, 2011 10:25 AM

Smokers looking to kick the habit are being encouraged by local MP Tom Brake to take advantage of the services and support available to help them in the local area.

Tom, who strongly supported the smoking ban, was speaking in anticipation of No Smoking Day, which this year will be on 9th March. Local hospitals, schools and businesses will all hold events to provide information about giving up and support for those looking to do so.

According to the anti-smoking charity We Quit, 19% of residents in the South East of England are smokers. Of these, the NHS estimates that as many as 70% are looking to give up.

Tom said: "Now is just the time to quit, and No Smoking Day is a great starting point. Good help is at hand as we have excellent facilities here in Sutton with help for anyone who needs it. The NHS in Sutton and Merton runs a Stop Smoking Service which provides advice and support either in a group or on a one-to-one basis from over 130 trained advisors."

Smoking-related illnesses hospitalise almost 365,000 people a year, and according to charity figures smoking remains the primary cause of avoidable premature death in the UK. President of No Smoking Day Duncan Bannatyne is keen to encourage those looking to quit.

He said: "Quitting smoking isn't easy. Most smokers in the UK say they'd like to quit, and many have tried to stop several times. It's easy to give up, but you'll find few ex-smokers that quit the habit on their first attempt. So pick yourself up, dust yourself down and believe that this time you really can do it!"

Tom went on to pay tribute to the work of anti-smoking charities.

He said: "Events such as No Smoking Day go a long way towards helping people to stop smoking and reducing the level of smoking-related illnesses in the UK. I hope that we can encourage as many smokers as possible to find out more and take that first step towards a healthier lifestyle."

To find out more about No Smoking Day visit www.nosmokingday.org.uk. You can also sign up for help from the NHS in Sutton by calling 0800 652 8019 or by emailing stopsmoking@smpct.nhs.uk.

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