SMOKERS who want to quit their habit this new year are being helped with their efforts by health staff on Wearside.
Roadshows will be held across Sunderland during the coming weeks, when experts will be giving out information and can also refer people to their local stop smoking services at community pharmacies on the spot.
They can also give out advice on stopping smoking and arrange to contact those people who go away with information to sign post them to services at a later date.
Health chiefs hope that smokers wanting to quit will make use of the services.
Nonnie Crawford, director of public health for Sunderland Teaching Primary Care Trust, said: “The roadshow is a great way to engage with local people and raise awareness of where they can go to access stop smoking support straight away or when they feel ready.”
Advisers are also providing a 12-week stop smoking programme which includes:
l Preparation for quitting
l Setting a quit date
l Discussion and support to access stop smoking medications
l Weekly carbon monoxide monitoring
l Coping with recovery symptoms
Officials are pointing out that those who use the NHS Stop Smoking Service and currently receive free prescriptions, nicotine replacement therapy (eg gum, patches, inhalers) will also be free of charge.
Julie Parker, public health lead for the Tobacco Alliance, said: “We held a Stop Smoking road show in 2011 which reached more than 2,000 people locally.
“In the new year, many people think about quitting and it is never too late to stop smoking and see the health benefits.
“This year we hope the roadshow will reach even more people wishing to quit smoking.”