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  1. ITV Report

Thinking about quitting for Stoptober? Help is here!

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After years of campaigning, it seems like the message is getting through with more people than ever in the North East giving up smoking.

Stoptober encourages smokers to put away their cigarettes for the month of October, with the aim of longer term success.

This year, for the first time, the campaign is highlighting the use of e-cigarettes as an aid to help giving up.

So if you are thinking about taking part in Stoptober, here are some helpful tips to keep you going on the path to quit.

According to the NHS, these are the top five things to remember:

  • PREPARE: Prepare for the day you quit and avoid temptation - choose a quit date that's unlikely to be stressful and make sure you don't have any cigarettes, lighters or matches on you. Avoid the pub or other places where people around you might be smoking.
  • SUPPORT: Take advantage of all the support that surrounds you. Download apps, read pamphlets, talk to friends, family so they know you're trying to quit. And use the advice from your doctor about medicines that can help with withdrawal symptoms.
  • REMEMBER: Remember all the reasons why you're quitting: Feeling great, reduced health risks, extra money in your pocket, improved breathing and general fitness, cleaner lungs and a stronger heart.
  • CRAVINGS: Find distractions to help with cravings: Talk to someone - call a friend or relative to get some support, go for a brisk walk - this will help clear your head and lungs, stay busy and change scene - just moving to another room can help.
  • STAY COMMITTED: Last but not least, remember there's never"just one" cigarette. Keep busy, and if you find a certain time of day hard, try a new routine.

If you're thinking about quitting, head to the Stoptober website for more information.

The North East is now at a historic low for smoking with 17.2% of people smoking in 2016 compared to 29% of people in 2005. Smoking seems to be less desirable than ever before and quitting is much more appealing.

The terrible health consequences stand out much more on cigarette packs, and electronic cigarettes have clearly helped many former smokers as a much less harmful gateway out of smoking.

– Ailsa Rutter, Director of Fresh