Don't quit at New Year, warning

SMOKERS in Suffolk are being urged not to give up on January 1.The message may seem odd but the theory behind it is that, of all the days in the year, this could be the hardest one on which to successfully bin the habit.

SMOKERS in Suffolk are being urged not to give up on January 1.

The message may seem odd but the theory behind it is that, of all the days in the year, this could be the hardest one on which to successfully bin the habit.

Smoke-Free Suffolk, a county-wide anti-smoking group are warning that, unless smokers are already mentally prepared to have their last cigarette on January 1, the annual date for the making, and often breaking, of New Year resolutions can be one of the most difficult days to quit.

Hilary Andrews, of Smoke-Free Suffolk, said: "January 1 is well known as a starting date for all kinds of New Year resolutions, be it giving up smoking, eating healthier or going on a diet.

"We find that many people who try to quit on News Year's Day are not mentally prepared to give up what can be a difficult addiction.

"Many people wake up on New Year's morning feeling a bit tender, still having to face a day of socialising with family and friends. So why make quitting as difficult as possible?"

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The warning comes just a week after director of public health, Brian Keeble, revealed that the primary care trusts in East Suffolk are unlikely to hit targets for the numbers of people who successfully stop smoking.

Smoke-Free Suffolk suggest that a better plan for those who want to give up in the New Year is to aim for dates later in the year, such as No Smoking Day on March 9, which gives people two months preparation time.

Across the East of England, smoking is responsible for 18pc of all deaths in the region and approximately 42pc of children live in a house where at least one person smokes.

It is planned to get 80,600 people to stop smoking through smoking cessation services during 2003-2006.

Help and advice on how to quit is available from your local stop smoking service on 0800 085 6037 and is offered as part of normal NHS services. The only charge is that made for prescriptions.

n. What do you think of New Years resolutions? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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