HEALTH AND CARE: Share your smoke-free stories this week

No Smoking Day may have passed, but you can still #TellUsYourWay to stay smoke free
No Smoking Day may have passed, but you can still #TellUsYourWay to stay smoke free

Yesterday thousands of people across West Sussex kick started their attempt to go smoke-free.

The national No Smoking Day, held on Wednesday, March 14, aims to provide smokers with the help and support they need to quit once and for all.

But it isn’t too late and if you haven’t started an attempt, the resources will continue to be available for everyone who wants to go smoke free.

The theme for 2018 is #TellUsYourWay, which encourages smokers to share how they curbed their addiction.

Everyone’s different, which means the way you quit smoking needs to be your choice. It’s all about working out what’s right for you to increase your chances of quitting for good.

You might be:

• Thinking of free Champix or NRT from the pharmacy.

• Looking into e-cigarettes.

• Planning to go it alone with your own willpower.

You can also get expert help from the NHS. Whatever you decide, it helps to plan ahead.

Using the hashtag #TellUsYourWay people are sharing their stories on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and making a statement about how they are going to quit smoking.

You don’t have to have started yesterday, just planning a day is proven to give people something to focus on.

Tell your friends and family the day you’ve chose to stop smoking and how you’re going to do it. Letting other people know your plans helps:

• You commit to quitting.

• Your friends and family support and motivate you.

While studies show that two-thirds of smokers want to quit, nearly one in five UK adults continue to smoke, including 17 per cent of people living in the county.

There is a range of support available in West Sussex to help you stay on track.

You can get NHS stop smoking support at more than 50 GP practices across West Sussex. You can also get stop smoking support at a range of pharmacies across the area.

These stop smoking services are free, and they can advise on suitable medications to help you quit.

It is a fact that you are four times more likely to be a successful quitter if you have professional support from an advisor, compared to trying alone.

If you would like to make your quit attempt at your GP surgery or at a participating pharmacy, either phone or drop in to book an appointment to talk to the trained advisor.

Some common questions:

• How long does a course of treatment last? Any treatment will be explained in detail by a health professional. However, courses of NRT or varenicline (Champix) generally last about twelve weeks, and Zyban nine weeks.

• How much will advice and treatment cost? NHS services are free. Any treatment (NRT, Zyban, Champix) is available on prescription so you only pay the prescription charge. If you don’t pay for your prescriptions then treatment is free.

Further tips and tools can be found on the West Sussex Wellbeing website: www.westsussexwellbeing.org.uk

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