A new service helping people in Southwick to stop smoking has had a slow start.
Drop-in sessions were launched by NHS Sussex at Southwick Community Centre last month, offering 150 places to people in the town and surrounding area.
Laura Skelcey, senior communications manager, told the Herald this week: “We have had some interest in the new sessions at Southwick but would definitely encourage more people to visit the sessions and access the expert help available there.
“At the moment the numbers of people attending are low and we would like more people to benefit from the help and support available so would definitely encourage more people to attend.”
By going along to the session, people will be able to get expert advice and information from specialist adviser Rebecca Bunyan, from Sussex Community NHS Trust’s Stop Smoking service.
Smokers get help to set a date for their quit attempt and get all the support they need to make that attempt a success.
Rebecca also offers advice on the different products available on the NHS, such as nicotine patches, gum and techniques to go smokefree, and smokers can find out more about the service’s voucher scheme, which can provide some products for the same rate as prescriptions.
Gus Ferguson, the NHS Stop Smoking Service co-ordinator for the Adur region, said: “We are really pleased we are now able to offer advice and give support right here in Southwick for everyone in the local area that needs it.
“It builds on the success at our existing drop-in clinics across the county in places such as Worthing and Horsham, and we hope as many people as possible come along and find out more about how we can help them.
“You are more likely to stop smoking if you use the free professional help from the NHS and now is the perfect time to take that step. Think of the money you could save and the huge improvement you could make to your health by starting the new year smokefree.
“We know that stopping smoking isn’t easy, but our support really does help. Our local advisers will provide you with free expert advice, access to medication and support tailored to what you need. There are group sessions, one-to-one support or phone advice – lots of options to support you as much as possible during your quit attempt.”
Last year, more than 4,000 people successfully quit smoking in West Sussex with support from the local NHS stop smoking services.
Call the NHS stop smoking helpline on 0300 100 1823 or visit www.westsussex.nhs.uk/services-stop-smoking for more information.