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NHS North Yorkshire and NHS Vale of York CCGs support No Smoking Day

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With No Smoking Day approaching on 10 March, NHS North Yorkshire and NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCGs) are supporting people in their attempts to quit smoking.

Each year thousands of people quit smoking successfully and this year more than ever it is important to look after your physical and mental wellbeing.

Understandably smokers have been pulled in two directions by the COVID-19 pandemic; on the one hand, smokers experiencing stress and mental distress are more likely to be smoking more. On the other the chances of smokers successfully quitting are as high as they’ve ever been.

Free local support across North Yorkshire and York is available through North Yorkshire County Council’s Living Well Smokefree service.

Living Well Smokefree has a team of advisors who have plenty of experience in helping people to stop smoking for good. They will see anyone from the age of 12 and have community-based locations across North Yorkshire. They can be contacted via telephone on 01609 797272 or via email on stop.smoking@northyorks.gov.uk . More information is available on their website: https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/stopping-smoking

Cancer Research UK GP and Primary Care Lead for Humber, Coast and Vale, Dr Dan Cottingham, said: “There has never been a more important time to look after your mental and physical health. Stopping smoking has immediate benefits to your physical health and long term will significantly reduce your chances of developing many illnesses including heart disease, diabetes, COPD, stroke and cancer.

“We also know that during the Covid pandemic, less lung cancer cases have presented and smoking is the highest risk factor in this cohort. The national campaign help us to help you advises you to contact your GP if you have had a cough for more than three weeks to get assessed. You may well have seen the advert like this in the press or on TV.

“While quitting can feel stressful in the short term new research shows that many ex-smokers mental health improves six weeks after quitting.

“Nicotine Replacement Therapy and Varenicline have all been shown to improve a smokers’ chance of successfully quitting by reducing the extent to which smokers experience withdrawal. These medications do not completely eliminate the symptoms of withdrawal but behavioural support can help smokers to manage those withdrawal symptoms that remain.”

Further support on how to quit smoking can be found on the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/better-health/quit-smoking/

You can also download the Public Health England personal quit plan here: https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/for-your-body/quit-smoking/personal-quit-plan/

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