Make March Your Month to Quit Smoking

No Smoking Month is fast approaching, and the Public Health Agency (PHA) and Cancer Focus Northern Ireland are encouraging smokers to plan ahead to ‘Make March Your Month to Quit’.

Kelly McCartney Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement Manager, with the PHA, said: “March is No Smoking Month and a fantastic opportunity to make the commitment to stop smoking and improve your health.

“Stopping smoking is one of the best steps you can take to improve your health and protect people around you from harmful second-hand smoke. Quitting will also save you money which is significant as people face tough times with the cost of living crisis.”

There is lots of support available throughout Northern Ireland for those who want to quit. A range of services that can help and support people to quit are offered through many community pharmacies, GP practices, HSC Trust premises, community and voluntary organisations and by Cancer Focus NI.

Naomi Thompson, Health Improvement Manager at Cancer Focus NI, urged those who want to stop smoking to seek help to make their quit journey easier.

“Studies have shown that you are four times more likely to quit with help,” she said.

“Although we would encourage any smoker who is ready to quit to do it during this No Smoking Month, you can of course pick a date at any time of the year. We can help support you with lots of tried and tested tips to make quitting that bit easier. We will look at coping with cravings, managing stress, avoiding weight gain and developing a healthy lifestyle. You don’t have to do this on your own.”

Top tips for quitting smoking

  • Make a date to give up – and stick to it!
  • Make a plan. Think about what could help you stop smoking, such as using a nicotine replacement product, and have it ready before the date you plan to stop.
  • Get support from your local Stop Smoking Service. Also, let your family and friends know that you’re quitting. Some people find that talking to friends and relatives who have stopped can be helpful.
  • Keep busy to help take your mind off cigarettes. Try to change your routine, (and plan alternative activities for places you associate with smoking) and avoid the shop where you normally buy cigarettes.
  • Remind yourself that the money saved now from not smoking can be used for other things you or your family want or need.

No Smoking Month is coordinated in Northern Ireland by Cancer Focus NI and includes a partnership with the PHA, the Healthy Living Centres Alliance, Health and Social Care Trusts, and local councils.

For more information on the services available and useful tips to stop smoking, visit www.cancerfocusni.org/stopsmoking or the PHA’s www.stopsmokingni.info website.