The first smoke-free initiative of its kind in Norfolk is being launched at the University of East Anglia (UEA) Norwich Medical School next month.
The ‘Quit Strong’ initiative is a collaboration between Smokefree Norfolk, which is provided by Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust (NCH&C), and the Norwich Medical School to provide help and support for smokers.
During weekly sessions held in October, smokers will receive motivational advice from Smokefree advisors and will be issued stop smoking medication prescriptions for their planned smoking ‘quit day’. Attendees will also have an opportunity to listen to expert guest speakers covering topics on weight management, stress management and active lifestyles.
By making it a public commitment to quit smoking as part of a motivated group, the “Quit Strong” campaign aims to improve smoking cessation rates over the four week period. The event will also feature carbon monoxide (CO) testing to compare participants’ readings over the four week period as they continue with the programme.
James Wade, Lead Advisor for Smokefree Norfolk said: “Generally some people find that they have more success quitting together in a group compared to one-to-one sessions with advisors and these sessions aim to attract likeminded people who want to quit smoking as one big team.
“As the famous quote says ‘just do it!’ It doesn’t matter if you have tried many times before, this event could be the one and we hope it will be a positive experience for all and lead to successful lifestyle changes.”
The sessions will run every Thursday from 4-6pm starting October 1 at the UEA Sportspark.
Dr Caitlin Notley, from UEA, will give an introduction to smoking cessation research at the University and will use the opportunity to launch the newly formed ‘Addiction Research Group’ within the Norwich Medical School.
She said: “We are delighted to be working with Smokefree Norfolk on the Quitstrong initiative. This is an exciting opportunity for smokers to commit to stopping smoking, drawing on all the support and assistance available to them from both the service and other members of the public.
“From a research point of view we will be interested track people’s efforts and will be trying to work out whether quitting in a group results in better outcomes than quitting alone.”
The Smokefree Norfolk team will be hosting a stand at NCH&C’s Healthier Fair on September 24 at The Forum, Norwich, where people can come along to meet members of the team, find out more about Stoptober and the support available to them.
Anyone thinking of giving up can contact the Smokefree Norfolk team free and in confidence and sign up for Stoptober. For more information about the “Quit Strong” sessions contact on Freephone 0800 0854 113 or visit: www.smokefreenorfolk.nhs.uk
You can also follow Smokefree Norfolk on Twitter: @Smokefreenrflk
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