MIL-OSI United Kingdom: Swap to Stop this No Smoking Day

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Source: City of Sunderland

Smokers in Sunderland are encouraged to make this No Smoking Day (Wednesday 13 March) the day they give up for good, with a range of support options including free vapes and one-to-one support available to help.

Sunderland’s Specialist Stop Smoking Service is now a pathfinder for the national ‘Swap to Stop’ initiative, which allows smokers aged 18 and above to swap their cigarettes for a free vape and receive one-to-one support from an experienced stop smoking advisor.

Evidence shows that vaping can be an effective tool in helping someone to quit smoking, especially when combined with expert support.

Councillor Kelly Chequer, Sunderland City Council’s Cabinet member for Healthy City, said: “Evidence has shown that vaping poses a much smaller risk than smoking because vapes don’t contain the harmful toxins that are in tobacco but still give the person the nicotine they crave.

“Vaping is already estimated to contribute to an extra 50,000 to 70,000 smoking quits per year in England so it is an important tool to help reduce smoking rates.”

One Sunderland resident who has already quit smoking with the support of the Specialist Stop Smoking Service is Cath Haley from Millfield, who quit smoking after 50 years.

She said: “I feel 100 times better. I used to find it difficult getting up the stairs at the metro station because they’re steep. The last time I tried I couldn’t breathe – but now I go twice a week.

“My skin is much better too; I can see it myself and even my son noticed I look younger.”

But for Cath, giving up smoking has helped more than just her health. “Another benefit is the money,” she said. “I’ve still got money in my bank the day before I get paid, and that has never happened before.”

Cath has received a certificate from Sunderland Stop Smoking Service to recognise her quitting for good. Now she is keen to encourage anyone who has thought about quitting smoking to keep trying. She said: “Keep trying, I tried to quit many times, but I would encourage anyone to just keep going.”

Anyone interested in accessing the support can visit or call 0800 169 9913 for more information.

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