FROM medication to hynotherapy, there are countless techniques to help smokers break the habit, especially now the New Year is here.

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Andy Smith knows it is not easy to quit without support and is offering his services to those trying to put out the cigarettes for good.

In the past 12 months the smoking cessation team at Live Well Suffolk has helped more than 4,000 smokers kick the habit, and you could be the next person they help.

“Every day is a good opportunity to stop smoking,” said Andy, a specialist advisor for smoking cessation.

However, he knows that many people will make it their resolution to stop, meaning he is expecting January to be a very busy month.

“We are launching our stop smoking campaign, which runs alongside the national one.

“However, it is softer as we are an enabling service, we are not forcing anyone to give up, they come to us looking for help.”

Smokers can contact Live Well directly or be referred by other health professionals.

“We train pharmacists and nurses at GP surgeries in smoking cessation but it may be they have seen the same person several times so they refer them to us for a greater level of support,” said Andy.

Patients are offered prescriptions for nicotine replacement therapy such as patches, or one of two different drugs Zyban or Champix, to help wean them off the cigarettes.

“We give them a prescription or write a recommendation for their treatment so they can get two-week’s worth of medication for the cost of a single prescription.

“We can provide this for up to 12 weeks.”

Rolling support groups are also held across the county, with more being set up wherever there is a need.

“These are about peer support. Those that are new to the group will be able to see the journey others have been on and the progress they have made and it will help them maintain a smoke-free existence.”

Of the 4,000 people seeking help each year in Suffolk, around 55% will manage to go at least four weeks without having a cigarette, which is in line with national targets.

Have you made a New Year’s resolution to stop smoking? Help is available at your local surgery, pharmacy or by calling Live Well Suffolk on 01473 229292. Alternatively text QUIT to 80011 or log on to www.livewellsuffolk.org.uk

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