A new health campaign that has been launched in Haverhill is aiming to help one thousand smokers to kick the habit within the next four months.
Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in Suffolk and the county is currently home to 87,000 smokers. Between now and March, Live Well Suffolk will be helping smokers quit for good with their new awareness drive, ‘1,000 Smokers Wanted’.
Two people Live Well Suffolk has already helped to quit are Ipswich couple Diane and John Preston.
Their main incentive for quitting was to save money while John, who is self-employed, recovered from spinal surgery and to support their eldest daughter as she started university.
The couple have been smoke free for three months and in that time have saved a whopping £3,000.
Diane said: “The amount of money we’ve saved since quitting is remarkable; we were just burning it before. Now that we’ve seen how much we can save we would definitely begrudge spending money on smoking again.”
Diane and John saw Laura Beale, one of Live Well Suffolk’s Community Health Coaches, for one-to-one stop smoking support.
“Having the support from Laura really helped us,” Diane added. “As well as talking to her about how we were getting on, we also had to have regular carbon monoxide breath tests.
“This helped too because if you felt weak and fancied having a cigarette, the test would pick up on it.”
Smokers are four times more likely to quit with the support of one of Live Well Suffolk’s trained stop smoking advisors than they are if they go it alone.
The organisation also runs group stop smoking sessions and offers support to pregnant mums who smoke. Support from Live Well Suffolk is free and is very practical, covering things such as dealing with cravings and how to avoid weight gain.
Henry Tapp is the Team Lead for Live Well Suffolk’s Stop Smoking Services.
He said: “With our ‘1,000 Smokers Wanted’ campaign we want to help more people like Diane and John achieve their goals, whether that’s saving some extra money or improving your health.
“Once you quit smoking, your sense of smell and taste improves and your risk of serious health conditions such as cancer, stroke and heart disease reduces dramatically.
“It will also mean that your children and family members won’t be exposed to second hand smoke, so their health will benefit too.”
Live Well Suffolk’s stop smoking support is completely free and is delivered by fully trained advisors. Clients can choose to take part in one-to-one or group sessions and can pick a time and location to suit them.
To sign up to Live Well Suffolk’s 1,000 Smokers Wanted campaign, text QUIT to 80011, call 01473 229292 or visit www.livewellsuffolk.org.uk.