Smokers to get support to quit habit

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Smokers are being invited to quit the habit by joining in a national initiative.

Stoptober, which began on October 1, is a 28-day initiative from Public Health England which aims to help people quit smoking through free support, a daily messaging service and a mobile app.

Caroline Hogg, from Ashington, found it hard to quit smoking despite being diagnosed with COPD ten years ago, but she is now smokefree thanks to support from the Northumberland Stop Smoking Service.

The 52-year-old said: “I started smoking when I was just 15-years-old. Before long I was addicted and smoked at least 20 cigarettes a day until I quit last year.

“Smoking had been a constant throughout my life, that even after I was diagnosed with COPD ten years ago and had two operations to remove damaged lung tissue, I still continued to smoke.

“Last year my doctor gave me a real wake-up call when he told me that if I didn’t quit smoking straight away, I wouldn’t live to see Christmas.

“From that moment on, I was determined to quit smoking and I visited my Local Stop Smoking Service for support.

“I truly think that if I can quit, anybody can. That’s why I’d encourage anyone thinking about quitting to find the right support to give it a go.”

Ailsa Rutter, director of Fresh, said: “We’re encouraging anyone who smokes in Northumberland to join in with Stoptober and give quitting a go. Last year’s campaign was a massive success and this year it could be even bigger.”

Anyone who wants to sign up to Stoptober should visit www.smokefree.nhs.uk/Stoptober or contact the Northumberland NHS Stop Smoking Service on (01670) 813135.