Smokers hoping to begin their quit attempt on next week’s national No Smoking Day are being offered a helping hand this Saturday (10 March).
Colchester and Tendring NHS Stop Smoking Service, which is funded by North East Essex Primary Care Trust, will be giving out free nicotine patches and gum for use on Wednesday 14 March.
Smokers simply need to drop into the stop smoking clinic at Colchester Cornerstone, the multi-agency health and welfare centre in Sir Isaac’s Walk, between 11am and 12noon on Saturday to pick up their free patch or gum to use four days later.
It is just one of several initiatives being worked on by the PCT in Colchester and Tendring to mark No Smoking Day, which this year has a theme of “Make a Fresh Start”.
Sue White, co-ordinator of the stop smoking service, said: “Some smokers are not sure they are ready to quit but would still like to try out a nicotine patch or gum.
“The idea is that they drop in at Cornerstone on Saturday and then use it next week on No Smoking Day. We believe that many people will be pleasantly surprised to find that they do work and might want to continue using them.
“More than 1,000 people in Colchester and Tendring accessed our stop smoking clinics in January alone and more than 500 people have already stopped smoking for four weeks. The first three days are the hardest and that is why I strongly recommend using treatments such as patches and gums.
“The support our advisers provide is a ‘treatment’ in itself so, combined with nicotine replacement therapy, it can make it four times more likely that smokers will succeed.”
Mrs White said the ban on smoking in enclosed spaces, including the workplace, pubs and restaurants, which comes into force in England on 1 July was an added incentive for smokers to quit. Experience from Ireland and Scotland has shown that thousands of people will decide to stop smoking during the months leading up to the ban, she added.
On No Smoking Day, free breath tests to measure carbon monoxide levels in the lungs and information about stop smoking will be available at the following community pharmacies:
- Alliance Pharmacy, Brightlingsea
- Alliance Pharmacy, 17 Long Wyre Street, Colchester (inside the Co-op)
- Borno Chemist, Dovercourt
- Day Lewis Pharmacy, Frinton
- The Green Pharmacy, Great Bentley
- Alliance Pharmacy, Manningtree
- Marks Tey Pharmacy, Marks Tey
- Alliance Pharmacy, West Mersea
- Alliance Pharmacy, Wivenhoe
Also, staff from the stop smoking service, Tendring District Council and Colchester Borough Council will be in the car park of Morrisons supermarket in Centenary Way, Little Clacton, on No Smoking Day between 10.30am and 2.30pm to talk to shoppers and give out information about the smoke-free legislation and stop smoking. They will be outside Colchester Town Hall on Friday 23 March between the same times to do the same thing.
Ben Youdan, Chief Executive of No Smoking Day, the charity behind the annual health awareness campaign, said: “Good luck to all smokers in Colchester and Tendring who are serious about improving their health in the best possible way this No Smoking Day.
“Stopping smoking is the ultimate lifestyle overhaul. You’ll feel fitter and healthier and have more energy and more money! Using the help provided by the NHS stop smoking service can make it four times more likely that you will succeed. Good luck!”
* For more information about the free help available from Colchester and Tendring NHS Stop Smoking Service, call freephone 0800 7312656 or email email@example.com