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By Connie Osborne Thursday 06 March 2014 Updated: 07/03 11:17
SMOKERS in Bromsgrove and Droitwich are being urged to stub out their habit as part of No Smoking Day.
The national day, which takes place on Wednesday (March 12), encourages all smokers to ditch the white sticks for good and follow this year’s theme of V for Victory.
Information, support and encouragement will all be on offer at Bromsgrove Market next Friday (March 14), from 9.30am until 4pm, as part of Healthy Living Roadshows hosted by Worcestershire County Council and Worcestershire’s Local Pharmaceutical Committee.
Coun Marcus Hart, chair of Worcestershire Tobacco Control Alliance, said: “No Smoking Day is a great opportunity for smokers in Worcestershire to quit, knowing they will be doing so alongside hundreds of thousands of other people across the UK.
“Quitting isn’t easy but support is available so that smokers can win the battle against cigarettes.”
The calls are being echoed by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) which states, according to statistics, 13,610 adults in Bromsgrove alone, some 14 per cent, smoke.
Although that is lower than the 20 per cent national average, the charity is urging smokers to quit and states those using specialist stop smoking support and treatment are more likely to stop.
Figures show although two thirds of smokers want to give up, almost one in three - 31 per cent - in the region are putting it off because they are concerned about putting on weight.
The poll of 2,000 smokers also revealed more than one in five in the region lit up after a meal to stop them eating more.
Dr Mike Knapton, the BHF’s associate medical director, said: “Quitting smoking is the single best thing you can do to improve your health.
“Stubbing the cigarettes out will significantly reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and a variety of cancers and you’ll have more money to spend on things that you enjoy.
“We know quitting isn’t easy but last year nearly a million smokers used No Smoking Day to try and mark the start of their smoke free future.”
He urged people to get support from their stop smoking services and join fellow quitters from across the country on Wednesday to win their battle with cigarettes once and for all.
Victoria Taylor, The BHF’s senior heart health dietitian, said: “Some smokers feel they need to smoke to keep trim but contrary to the urban myth, you don’t have to consign yourself to an early grave in order to stay in control of your waistline.”
She added people could follow the charity’s tips and fill their fridges and bags with healthy snacks.
Among the advice is for people to brush their teeth or chew sugar free gum when they get cravings as the clean feeling and minty taste deters smokers from lighting up.
Keeping hands busy is another important method used - the BHF recommends playing word or number games on mobile phones, doing housework, sewing or other fiddly tasks that people are usually put off from undertaking.
And, the charity suggests, quitters set aside five 30-minute sessions a week to exercise to help manage stress, use up energy and manage their weight.
To find the nearest NHS stop smoking service go to www.worcestershire.gov.uk and search stop smoking.
RESIDENTS from Bromsgrove gathered at St John's Church
THREE men forced a driver to get in
PUPILS at Aston Fields Middle School took part
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