A MONTH-LONG quit attempt by smokers on Wearside is under way.
Councillors and staff gathered at Sunderland Civic Centre to support the launch of the annual Stoptober campaign.
Drop-in sessions were available throughout the day for people wanting to give up smoking, with advisers from Sunderland NHS Stop Smoking Service on hand to provide advice and information on the individual help and support available to those hoping to quit.
Coun John Kelly, portfolio holder for public health, is among those using the month to try to stop smoking.
The 51-year-old said: “I’m using Stoptober as the chance to give up smoking, and talking to a stop smoking adviser from the Stop Smoking Service is really helping.
“I wanted everyone to know that this kind of personal, individual support is available.
“What’s clear is that everyone needs a different approach. What works for one person, like nicotine patches or medication, might not work for someone else, so some individual guidance is essential.”
He added: “I hope anyone keen to give up smoking uses Stoptober as extra encouragement, but also remembers that there is help and support available throughout the year, which this campaign will help us raise awareness of.”
Jo Dickinson, manager of Sunderland NHS Stop Smoking Service, said: “This is a great chance for people in and around Sunderland to join the Stoptober challenge and change their life for the better.
“It’s not very often you can save money, but quitting smoking can be a fantastic way to boost your personal finances and have more money to spend on nicer things.
“It’s never too late to stop.”