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Article date - 07 March 2017
As another tobacco tax rise looms on Budget Day, the same day as No Smoking Day, advisers from Smokefree St Helens are urging smokers to quit or swap to less harmful and lower cost e-cigarettes.
It is estimated that a 10 a day smoker who quits completely would save more than £1,200 per year, equivalent to a 6 per cent pay rise on the average wage.
The Smokefree St Helens team will be in the town centre on Tuesday 7 and Wednesday 8 March, providing information about their free local services and instant appointments at the hub in the Hardshaw Centre for people who are motivated to give up.
There will also be a stand at St Helens Hospital on Wednesday 8 March from 10am to 3pm where staff, patients and visitors can get information or sign up immediately to the Quit Buddy text service or Quit Online email service.
Councillor Jeanie Bell, St Helens Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing said: “There is such a high cost to smoking – both in terms of health and money – that lots of people want to quit but struggle to do so on their own. Statistics show that you’re more than three times more likely to give up smoking for good with the free support and advice available from Smokefree St Helens.”
Sue Forster, Interim Director of Public Health said: “Tobacco is still the biggest killer in St Helens. Fewer young people are starting to smoke but smoking still costs the NHS locally millions every year.”
Miriam Scott, Operations Manager for Smokefree St Helens said, “Smokefree St Helens offers appointments with advisers and free nicotine replacement therapy, such as patches or gum, for eligible residents. The aim of the service, which is provided by City Health Care Partnership CIC on behalf of St Helens Council, is to help people to give up smoking cigarettes permanently. However, health experts agree that, while quitting using nicotine completely is best, switching from smoking to using electronic cigarettes can also help smokers to quit.”
For more information about Smokefree St Helens, call 01744 586247, text “STHELENS” to 61825 or go to www.readytostopsmoking.co.uk, which also features a cost calculator to show people how much money they could save by giving up.