Welwyn Hatfield residents urged to stub it out for National No Smoking Day

TODAY (Wednesday) is National No Smoking Day and NHS Hertfordshire is urging people to join thousands of others by stubbing out cigarettes.

NHS chiefs are teaming up with community pharmacists, hospitals, GP surgeries, councils and stop-smoking specialists to bring people information and advice on just how much help is on offer to support them in quitting.

You can talk to a specialist at Asda Pharmacy in Hatfield or the QE2 Hospital in WGC between 10am and 4pm.

The specialists can also give visitors a lung age test – which tells how well lungs are working.

The tests are particularly useful for people who smoke or who used to smoke because they can see whether they have any lung problems.

According to figures, 20 per cent of people in the UK smoke and 63 per cent of them want to quit.

The No Smoking Day 2011 theme, ‘Time to Quit?’ has been developed to encourage smokers to plan and find the right support in advance, as with the right NHS backing from experienced specialists they are four times more likely to succeed according to experts.

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As well as helping their lungs, ex-smokers will have a healthier bank balance too. People who give up their 20-a-day habit could be �44 better off a week or �190 richer per month.

Liz Fisher, from the Hertfordshire Stop Smoking Service, has helped hundreds of people to stop smoking.

She said: “Here in Hertfordshire around 20 per cent of adults are smokers and research has shown that over two thirds of them would like to quit.

“No Smoking Day on Wednesday, March 9 provides an excellent opportunity for them to do that.

“By using the support available on No Smoking Day and throughout the year you can significantly increase your chance of success.”

She added: “Smokers who come into one of our services are four times more likely to be successful than on their own.”

One woman, who used the Hertfordshire NHS stop smoking service, said: “Julie, my stop smoking advisor, gave me all the support help advice and encouragement.

“We agreed on a stop date and I haven’t had a cigarette since.

“I am very proud of myself.

“I know I would not have achieved this by myself.

“I have a healthy nine-week-old daughter as well as a four-year-old son who no longer sees his mum and dad smoking.”