Sunderland smokers can save a packet by giving up, say campaigners

Director of Fresh Ailsa Rutter
Director of Fresh Ailsa Rutter
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WEARSIDERS who light up can save a packet by starting their quit attempt on this year’s No Smoking Day tomorrow.

That is the message from anti-smoking groups as a new stop smoking service is launched to coincide with a day of activities.

According to research carried out by the British Heart Foundation ahead of the 30th annual No Smoking Day campaign, cash is one of the biggest motivators for quitting smoking in Sunderland – with almost one in five smokers agreeing that they could buy more for their family if they were to quit.

Experts say that as well as getting the health benefits of kicking the habit, quitters could save more than £2,500 a year – the equivalent of a week-long family holiday to Spain.

Encouraging people to take the opportunity to quit, Ailsa Rutter, director of campaign group Fresh, said: “Many smokers in the North East don’t realise how much money they’re actually wasting each time they hand their money over to buy a pack of cigarettes.

“Sometimes this can put a real strain on a family’s finances, especially when you add up how much smoking is costing you on a weekly basis and what you could have spent your money on instead.

“If you’ve quit before but not succeeded, you shouldn’t feel like a failure. It can often take a few attempts before you succeed for good, and tens of thousands in the North East have managed to quit.

“The important thing is never to give up on quitting.

“There are hundreds of easy, convenient locations in the North East where you can get friendly help through the NHS Stop Smoking Service. With their support, smokers are up to four times more likely to quit successfully.”

Coun John Kelly, portfolio holder for Public Health at Sunderland City Council, said: “Quitting smoking is never going to be easy, but there’s a lot of support available out there to help people to quit.

“The emphasis is very much on the good things about not smoking such as saving money, feeling healthier and avoiding serious diseases linked to smoking.”

Farringdon Jubilee Centre in Allendale Road will be supporting No Smoking Day tomorrow by hosting an awareness-raising drop-in event from 10am to 2pm.

Sunderland NHS Stop Smoking Service is contactable by calling 0800 5316317.

Alternatively, text “Smokefree” and your postcode to 80800 to find out our nearest place to drop in.

For more go to www.WeQuit.co.uk or ask your GP surgery or pharmacy for advice.