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NHS providing help to quit on No Smoking Day for Southampton smokers
TODAY teams of NHS staff will be on hand at two Southampton locations to give you tips on how you can quit smoking.
Alan Elgar, senior smoking cessation advisor at Solent NHS Trust, is one of those who will be available for a chat at the Asda supermarket in Western Esplanade from 8am to mark national No Smoking Day.
Mr Elgar said smoking can have a big impact on people's lives in a variety of ways.
Speaking to the Daily Echo, he said: “One of the things other than the impact on health is the cost of smoking.
“Smoking impacts people's lives in many ways. It can be the cost of smoking or the extra days off sick.
“Other than the direct financial burden it's the affect on health.
“With smoking it's not just about people becoming ill or dying early, it's people getting sick more often. It's also the affect smoking has on those around them - young children in particular.”
His teams of anti-smoking experts will give smokers helpful advice and information on ways to kick the habit.
Quitting smoking can save the average smoker around £2,500, says Mr Elgar.
He added: “These events help in raising awareness. The service has been established for more than ten years, but being in the right place and the right time helps.
“On average it costs £7 for a packet of cigarettes and the average smoker gets through a pack of 20 a day - that's £2,500 a year.
“If you are on a low income that's a massive amount.
“We ask people what their motives are for stopping. It might be health, it might be about money, but we will tailor a programme to the individual.
“If you speak to most smokers there's not many that say cigarettes are good for you, but they are addictive.
“Come and have a chat with us. You don't have to give your name and you can take information away with you.”
One former smoker who has benefitted from the NHS's advice is 67-year-old John Whyte, from Southampton.
He said: “I had a heart attack and got taken into A&E, the doctor there told me I needed to stop smoking.
“They then found I have a tumour on my bladder and again was advised to pack it up as I would heal better'
“A lady from Quitters came to visit me in the hospital and I got given patches to try. I couldn't have done it on my own, there's no way! I have used patches in the past and carried on smoking. Having someone to talk to every week has kept me on track.”