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The perfect gift for you and your family this Christmas? Stop smoking

Article date - 23 December 2016

Anyone who smokes across Merseyside is being encouraged to celebrate Christmas this year by quitting through local stop smoking services.

The money they save could be used to treat themselves and their loved ones to an extra special gift.

Free support from local authorities comes as many will be feeling the pinch of Christmas, with some already considering how they could free up money in the new year.

Smoking is costly for your health and your pocket. People who smoke 15 cigarettes a day could save:

£47 a week – which could pay for a Star Wars Remote Control BB-8 toy and a DVD.

£205 a month – the cost of a PlayStation 4 games console.

£616 over three months – the equivalent of travel and a one-night stay for a family of four to London with a visit to the Harry Potter studio, plus an evening meal out.

£1,233 in six months – a four-night holiday for a family of four to Disneyland Paris next Christmas.

£2,467 in one year – which would cover the cost of a family day trip (2 adults and 2 children) to meet Santa Claus in Lapland plus a husky and reindeer ride for Christmas 2017.

Local people choosing to stop smoking can expect to feel the health benefits immediately with breathing becoming easier and energy levels increasing after just 72 hours.

On average, a pack-a-day smoker will save around £250 each month and can save up to £3,000 a year by going smokefree. Savings could pay for an extra special Christmas in 2017, or simply help your budget stretch further each week.

Smokefree St Helens offer free face to face support, with research showing that smokers are four times more likely to stop with specialist support.

Julie Tipton, Manager for Smokefree St Helens said:

“There has never been a better time to quit. Research shows the majority of smokers want to quit and your local smokefree service can support you to achieve this through friendly, expert advice and support. It doesn’t matter if you have visited them before but it didn’t quite work out, you can access support as many times as you need.

“You don’t need to go through your quit journey alone. As well as using St Helens Smokefree support, you could join together with friends, family and colleagues to support each other through your quit attempt.”

Andrea Crossfield, Chief Executive of Healthier Futures who are working to help people in St Helens and across Merseyside live longer, healthier, happier lives said:

“Quitting smoking is the single best thing you can do for your health. If you stop smoking your blood oxygen and carbon monoxide levels will both return to normal. Breathing becomes easier and energy levels increase. And your ability to taste and smell is improved.

“It will also save money which could go towards a magical Christmas next year or enjoying more every day pleasures with your family throughout 2017.”

Smoking related illness still kills more people in St Helens than many other areas in England. The more people that quit, the healthier local communities become and savings could boost the local economy.

For support call 01744 586247, text QUIT to 61825, visit www.readytostopsmoking.co.uk or drop in to the Smokefree St Helens Hub, Hardshaw Centre, town centre.