Thinking of giving up the smokes? Get yourself a plan

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With the holiday season in full swing, minds will soon be turning to New Year’s resolutions, and once again quitting smoking will be at the top of many people’s ‘to-do’ list when the clock strikes midnight on 31 December.

With this in mind, the Public Health Agency (PHA) is encouraging smokers to make a plan, think about what steps they are going to take to stay off tobacco for good, and to seek practical support and advice from a free ‘Stop Smoking Service’.

Gerry Bleakney, Strategic Lead for Tobacco Control with the PHA, said: “In Northern Ireland around 360,000 people aged 16 and over smoke, and, sadly, one in every two smokers dies early because of their smoking habit. New Year is a time when many people decide to quit smoking and while some might be able to do it with very little support, others find that planning ahead and making use of the support services that are available can really help them make the decision permanent.

Gerry concluded: “If you quit and then relapse, accept it, work out why it happened, and focus on how you can avoid it in future. It takes several efforts for many people to quit for good but if you are determined you will do it. Last year thousands of people decided to stop using our ‘Stop Smoking Services’ and many others quit on their own. ‘Be prepared’ is the motto for success.”

For more tips to stop smoking, log on to the PHA’s ‘Want 2 Stop’ website www.want2stop.info and order a ‘Quit Kit’ free of charge.

For further information, contact PHA Corporate and Public Affairs on 0300 555 0117.

If you have an urgent media enquiry outside normal working hours, please call our dedicated out-of-hours service on 0300 555 0118.

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