Twenty-two per cent of the town smokes

Stub out smoking for a healthier 2014
Stub out smoking for a healthier 2014

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) is urging Eastbourne’s smokers to get the support of local stop smoking services to help them quit on this year’s No Smoking Day on March 12.

The latest figures show that 22 per cent of adults in Eastbourne smoke – which is higher than the national average of 20 per cent. Half of all long-term smokers die because of their addiction to tobacco, making this one of the most pressing health concerns in the area, according to the heart charity.

Research from stop smoking services shows that smokers are four times more likely to be effective in quitting if they use specialist stop smoking support and treatment.

Dr Mike Knapton, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said, “Quitting smoking is the single best thing you can do to improve your health. Stubbing the cigarettes out will significantly reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and a variety of cancers and you’ll have more money to spend on things that you enjoy.

“We know that quitting isn’t easy but last year nearly a million smokers used No Smoking Day to try and mark the start of their smoke free future. We’re encouraging people to get support from their local stop smoking service now and join forces with other would-be quitters across the UK on March 12, to win the battle with cigarettes once and for all.”

Although two-thirds of smokers want to give up, BHF research shows that one in five (20%) in the region are putting it off because they are concerned about putting on weight. The poll of 2000 smokers also revealed that more than one in five (23%) in the region have lit up after a meal to stop them eating more.

Victoria Taylor, senior heart health dietitian at the British Heart Foundation, said, “Some smokers feel they need to smoke to keep trim but contrary to the urban myth, you don’t have to consign yourself to an early grave in order to stay in control of your waistline. We’re encouraging people to start their own battle plan now by following our tips and filling their fridge and handbag with healthy snacks to help them ditch the cigarettes for good on No Smoking Day and come out looking better than ever.”

More than 100,000 smokers in the UK die from smoking related causes each year, including around 22,000 from heart and circulatory diseases and 45,000 from cancer .

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