Poll: Health chiefs in Essex set to launch their “most concerted stop-smoking campaign ever” in a bid to get record numbers to quit


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Health chiefs in north Essex are set to launch their “most concerted stop-smoking campaign ever” in a bid to get a record number of people to kick the habit.

The initiative, due to start in January, will see 30,000 homes leafletted and nicotine replacement therapy available for free to people who sign up in the first four weeks of next year.

The drive is being spearheaded by Anglian Community Enterprise (ACE) Colchester and Tendring NHS Stop Smoking Service, who are urging anyone who might want to quit to get in touch.

Co-ordinator Sue White, said: “We are throwing our full weight behind the national campaign by Public Health England and our aim is to achieve a record number of local quitters.

“We know many people’s New Year resolution is to quit smoking so we are going to be offering every possible assistance to them. It doesn’t matter how many times people have tried to stop smoking, we encourage them to try again. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain.

“The important thing about our service is we treat each person as an individual. There’s no one off-the-shelf solution. A trained member of our team will sit down and talk with the person to see what might work best for them. If you are thinking of swapping your cigarettes for e-cigarettes, you can still get free advice and support from the stop smoking service, but at the moment the NHS are not allowed to prescribe them as they have not been regulated.

“Weekly support is recommended for up to 10 weeks. Based on your current smoking habits and smoking history your adviser will help you decide which stop smoking medicine will work best for you. The sessions will help you manage cravings and you’ll get regular carbon monoxide checks to show how much progress you are making. You’ll also be given useful tips on coping with triggers and support to help you avoid a relapse.

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The service is funded by Essex County Council and supported by North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (NEECCG).

NEECCG chairman, Dr Gary Sweeney, said: “This is a fantastic, free and personal opportunity for you to quit smoking now. We all know smoking is the worst thing you can do for your life now and your health and quality of life in the future.”

The campaign will include free nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) from participating pharmacies, information events at the Morrisons supermarkets in Harwich and Clacton on January 6 and 7 respectively and a mini-mobile unit outside Colchester Town Hall on January 10.

For more information call 0800 731 2656 or 01206 545134.