A NEW initiative to help smokers is being launched today.
Help Me Quit, which was started by NHS Wales, aims to increase awareness of the range of stop smoking help available to people.
The launch has come at a time when a staggering 24,000 people living in Newport are smokers, with nearly 16,000 trying to quit.
The results from a survey, conducted by the Welsh Health Survey, suggest that 68 per cent of the 492,000 smokers in Wales would like to stop smoking.
There have been several stop smoking service brands in use across Wales and Help Me Quit has been launched to help bring these together to make it “clearer for smokers to get all support and guidance they need to quit smoking”.
Justin Williams, who is a smoker living in Newport, said he would “support” any plan which helped smokers give up.
He said: “For me, I love and hate smoking at the same time.
“When I’m stressed it really does help but I know it damages my body.
“Any plan to get smokers to ditch the cigarette is great.”
Commenting on the launch of the campaign, Ashley Gould, public health consultant at Public Health Wales, said: “Following recent research with smokers in Wales, it became clear that many who want to quit were not aware of the services available to them and the type of NHS support they could tap into.
“Help Me Quit will help put this right. We appreciate how hard it is to quit smoking and that guidance and support can really help.
“Support might be about hints and tips for coping with cravings from experts or other smokers trying to quit, or which medication would best suit a smokers best.
“What works for one person may not work for another, but with Help Me Quit, we have a dedicated team that can talk through all the options.
“This means people throughout Wales who are trying to quit smoking have an even greater chance of succeeding.”
If you require additional information call the Help Me Quit centre on 0800 0852219, visit the website helpmequit.wales or text ‘HMQ’ to 80818.