Ditch the fags and save a real packet

Mark Walker and Meredith Anderson from the council's Environmental Health section launch this year's No Smoking Day, which takes place on March 13. INNT 10-523CON

Mark Walker and Meredith Anderson from the council's Environmental Health section launch this year's No Smoking Day, which takes place on March 13. INNT 10-523CON

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SMOKERS in Newtownabbey are being encouraged to think about quitting this month, with the 30th anniversary of No Smoking Day taking place on Wednesday, March 13.

The focus of this year’s campaign is to ‘swap fags for swag’ and consider the financial benefits of quitting. This year smokers are being encouraged to focus on what they could afford to buy if they were to quit for a day (saving £7), a week (£49), a month (£210) and a year (£2,555).

Newtownabbey Borough Council staff will also be using the day to highlight the benefits of kicking the habit at No Smoking Day events in the Valley Leisure Centre and Sixmile Leisure Centre. In the run up to the day, they will visit local businesses DHL Exel and Marks and Spencer to provide information to anyone thinking about giving up. Staff and students at the local NRC and University of Ulster campuses will also get a visit from the Environmental Health officers.

Meredith Anderson, Tobacco Control Officer commented: “No Smoking Day provides the perfect opportunity for people to join hundreds of others attempting to quit on the same day. This is why the council’s efforts in spreading the word about the support available are so important as they help many make their first steps towards a healthier and wealthier, smoke free life.”

The annual health campaign, run by the British Heart Foundation, is now in its 30th year. It helped more than 760,000 people quit smoking last year and inspired another 1.5 million to seek out information to help them quit in future.

For more information about stopping smoking, or to find your nearest free Smoking Cessation Service, log on to www.want2stop.info