More help to kick the habit

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Health chiefs in Leeds have pledged to find new ways to encourage smokers to quit.

A new survey aimed at people in south and east Leeds showed that nearly 90 per cent of smokers wanted to quit, but factors including stress and lack of knowledge about support made it difficult.

Now bosses at NHS Leeds South and East CCG, which has the highest rates of smoking in the city, say they will work with the free Leeds NHS Stop Smoking Service to help more people kick the habit.

Andy Harris, clinical chief officer at the CCG, said: “We know that smoking is the biggest single issue contributing to health problems and lower life expectancy in our local communities.

“Helping people to quit is a huge challenge, and we are working with Leeds NHS Stop Smoking Service to find ways we can encourage more people to get in touch, and to support the service they offer.”

The CCG commissioned Leeds Beckett University’s Centre for Health Promotion Research to find out how smokers could be helped to stop.

They found that 86 per cent of the 173 people surveyed wanted to quit and knew it was bad financially and for their health. But many said that they couldn’t kick the habit because of stress and less than half of smokers intending to quit planned to access support from a health professional.

The main barriers to attending a stop smoking service was lack of knowledge of the support available and motivation, the survey found.

Mr Harris added: “In the new year we will be launching a campaign to make sure local people know what support is available, but I would encourage anyone thinking about it to contact the service, see how they can help and start taking the first positive step.”

The Leeds NHS Stop Smoking service is free, and open to anyone who wants to quit.

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