Smokers in Wiltshire are being urged to prepare to give up cigarettes for good on No Smoking Day on Wednesday.
About one in five UK adults smoke, including 17 per cent in Wiltshire, but studies show that around two thirds of smokers want to quit.
This year’s No Smoking Day has a ‘V for Victory’ theme which is set to inspire hundreds of thousands of smokers to win the fight against cigarettes.
The campaign will help smokers on the road to victory, providing information, support and encouragement to put together a personal battle plan so that they are in the best possible position to make a successful quit attempt on the day.
The Wiltshire Stop Smoking Service will be providing free Health MOTs and stop smoking support and advice at County Hall, Trowbridge from 10.30am to 3pm on No Smoking Day to inspire quitters and send them on the road to victory.
Maggie Rae, corporate director at Wiltshire Council, said: “No Smoking Day is a great opportunity for us to encourage and support smokers in Wiltshire to quit alongside hundreds of thousands of other people across the UK.
“We know that quitting isn’t easy but we want to reassure smokers that support is available to them and that they can win the battle against cigarettes.
“There’s a much higher chance of succeeding with support and this is why Wiltshire Public Health is spreading the word to smokers about the range of services and resources which are locally available to them.
"Our activity is crucial to helping smokers on the road to victory and towards a healthier and wealthier smoke-free life.”
Steve Rowlands, who chairs Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “Stopping is the most important change a smoker can make to improve their health and success is possible with support and stop smoking treatments.”
A Wiltshire designer who was suffering from a health condition has successfully quit her 25-a-day smoking habit after contacting her local NHS Stop Smoking Service.
Holly Langer-Hawke, 31 from Trowbridge, decided to quit in April 2013 after being diagnosed with the auto-immune condition lupus.
“Quitting has given me a freedom because you don’t realise how smoking affects everything, the way your hair and clothes smell and how you need to go out in the rain to do it.
“I went to the stop smoking clinic at my surgery in Bradford on Avon and the nurse there, Ruth Vine, was just fantastic and was so encouraging, I just didn’t want to let her down.
“Since giving up I feel a lot more positive, my breathing is better and I can smell and taste again. My friends and family have been really supportive and my dad even promised to give up with me, although he hasn’t managed it yet!
“Being able to quit has given me a more positive outlook on life because I want to be here for things in my future.”
Wiltshire Public Health is part of a network of organisations across the UK that manages local activities for the No Smoking Day campaign.
Keith Humphries, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for public health, said: “There is lots of support available for smokers who want to stop and with over 100 locations across Wiltshire offering a stop smoking service, No Smoking Day is a great opportunity to make an attempt to quit".
The annual campaign is run by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and encouraged one million smokers to make a quit attempt last year.
Dr Mike Knapton, Associate Medical Director at the BHF, said: “Our ‘V for Victory’ message is set to inspire smokers to win the battle against cigarettes even if they’ve already attempted to quit in the past.
“Quitting smoking is the single best thing people can do for their health and we want to arm smokers with information and support that will send them on the road to victory.
"We’re encouraging smokers to mark Wednesday 12 March in their diary to join hundreds of thousands of other quitters in attempting to stub out cigarettes for good.”
For more information and support, as an online forum where people can talk and get motivation and support from thousands of people giving up smoking, visit nosmokingday.org.uk