Robert Terry knew all about the health risks and expense of his 20-a-day habit, but it wasn’t until his nine-year-old daughter made a heartfelt plea after learning about the impacts of smoking at school that he decided to seek help quitting for good. Five months later he’s feeling healthier and wealthier thanks to his local NHS Stop Smoking drop-in clinic.
“As soon as my daughter Isabelle told me she didn’t want me to die as a result of smoking, I knew I wanted to quit for good. I’d tried quitting before using willpower and stop smoking aids but ended up feeling grumpy. Cutting down didn’t work either- I was soon back smoking what I was before. It got much easier once I started going to the clinic for regular support.”
Robert Terry Pic.jpg42 year-old Robert who started attending weekly Leeds Stop Smoking Service sessions at his local clinic in Crossgates in October, found the service, run by Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust, convenient, friendly and non-judgemental.
“It was reassuring to know that I was seeing experienced NHS Stop Smoking advisors, who were both friendly and supportive, so I felt comfortable going to the clinic. Doing my carbon monoxide reading every week helped with motivation and the leaflets and discussion showed me that habits and triggers were my main challenge, rather than the physical addiction.
“I found that getting support made all the difference. It’s a great feeling when you reach your goal and I feel really happy knowing that my daughter is so proud of me.”
Every year over 100,000 smokers in the UK die of smoking related diseases, with Yorkshire and the Humber having the highest adult smoking rates in the country, with 20 per-cent of adults in the region smoking. Despite this, during 2014-2015 Leeds Stop Smoking Service helped 1587 adults in the city quit.
Julie Clarkson, stop smoking specialist from Leeds Stop Smoking Service said, “Stopping smoking can be extremely challenging, but we want the people of Leeds to know that help is easily at hand at one of our 40 clinics across the city.
“Our expert staff use a combination of stop smoking treatments and support to break habits and deal with cravings, making you four times more likely to be successful in quitting than if you try on your own. No matter how long you’ve been smoking, whether you’ve tried to quit before or have never tried, we can provide support that really works.”
The service also offers free support and advice to pregnant woman and their families, people with mental health problems and young people. There are a range of options for accessing the support, including one to one sessions, group sessions, evening drop in clinics, telephone support and home visits. An interpreter service can also be provided if required.
From April, a new campaign is set to hit local communities in the inner south and east of the city to encourage more people to access Leeds Stop Smoking Service. The campaign is being led by NHS Leeds South and East Clinical Commissioning Group, which has a higher percentage of smokers than the Leeds average – as much as 34 per-cent in some areas.
Working in conjunction with marketing agency Magpie and community health organisation Health for All, the CCG has been gaining the views of local people to help develop the campaign. This is in response to a study by Leeds Beckett University that found the vast majority of smokers want to quit, but many don’t know what the service offers or where to access it.
The campaign is set to launch in early April.
For more information on the Leeds Stop Smoking Service, call 0800 169 4219, text SMOKEFREE to 60066 or click here.
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