Support for quitters

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Derry smokers hoping to kick the habit come the New Year have been urged to strengthen their resolve by seeking professional help.

Gerry Bleakney, Head of Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement, at the Public Health Agency, says while some smokers will try and use willpower alone, others will benefit from planning and advice.

“In Northern Ireland around 340,000 people aged 16 and over smoke, and sadly one in every two smokers die early because of their smoking habit.

“New Year is a time when many people decide to quit smoking, and while some might be able to do it with very little support, others find that planning ahead and making use of the support services that are available can really help them make the decision permanent,” he says.

Mr Bleakney says there is a range of free services available which can provide solid personal advice that will increase your chances of stopping for good.

“It is not easy to stop smoking, and different approaches will work for different people. However, I would encourage everyone thinking about stopping smoking to log onto our Want 2 Stop website at and order a free ‘Quit Kit’.

“You can also ring the Smokers’ Helpline free on 0808 812 8008 for help on planning to stop smoking or to find out where your nearest Stop Smoking Service is.”

Stop smoking services are available through local GPs, pharmacies and some community and voluntary organizations.

For more information on your nearest stop smoking service visit the Want 2 Stop website at

Or call the Smokers’ Helpline free on 0808 812 8008.