Countdown begins to No Smoking Day 2015

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Wednesday, February 18th, 2015
Thousands of smokers across Northern Ireland are today being urged to quit the habit and become ‘Proud Quitters’ as the countdown to No Smoking Day (NSD) on Wednesday 11th March gets underway. Local charities British Heart Foundation (BHF) Northern Ireland and Cancer Focus Northern Ireland have teamed up with the Public Health Agency (PHA), who are all part of the local No Smoking Day Coordinating Committee, to urge smokers to quit on NSD by seeking the help of their local stop smoking service. In Northern Ireland the latest figures show that adult smoking prevalence is down from 24% in 2012/13 to 22% in 2013/14. Stopping smoking can be very difficult, but help is at hand. Studies have found that smokers are four times more likely to succeed in quitting with help from stop smoking services than if they go it alone. Steph Leckey, Area Development Manager at BHF Northern Ireland, said, “Smoking increases the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and a variety of cancers. Stopping smoking is the single best thing you can do for your heart health and the risk to your overall health decreases significantly soon after you stop. “We are encouraging smokers to visit their GP, pharmacist or local stop smoking advisor to avail of information and advice on quitting smoking. Getting prepared for your quit attempt is the first step on the journey towards a smoke-free life,” he added. No Smoking Day offers these top five tips to help you quit smoking: • Make a date to give up – and stick to it! This year’s No Smoking Day is Wednesday 11 March. • Make a plan. Think about what could help you stop smoking, such as using a nicotine-replacement product, and have it ready before the date you plan to stop. • Get support and let your family and friends know that you’re quitting. Some people find that talking to friends and relatives who have stopped can be helpful. You can also talk to local smoking cessation team. • Keep busy to help take your mind off cigarettes. Try to change your routine, and avoid the shop where you normally buy cigarettes. • Treat yourself. If you can, use the money you’re saving by not smoking to buy yourself something special. For more information on the services available and useful tips to stop smoking, visit the PHA’s ‘Want 2 Stop’ website at where you can also order a ‘Quit Kit’ free of charge which will help you plan your quit attempt. To receive information and support on stopping smoking visit and join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #NoSmokingDay.
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