No Smoking Day (NSD), held on March 8th, was aimed at providing support to people who want to quit – whilst celebrating the proud quitters who are already on their journey.
This year’s event reiterated the good news that even for those who’ve been smoking for a while and feel like the damage has already been done, giving up is always worthwhile.
Two local individuals, who successfully quit through using the NHS Western Isles Smokefree Hebrides service, also lent their support.
Colin MacLeod, from Stornoway, was delighted with the support he received from NHS Western Isles’ Smokefree Hebrides and said, “With their help I stopped smoking 24 months ago and have taken on a new lease of life!”
As an additional bonus, since his No Smoking Day poster was featured on NHS Western Isles’ social media, Colin remarked he has been overwhelmed by the number of congratulatory messages from relatives and friends the world over.
Amanda MacLeod, from Benbecula, another successful Smokefree Hebrides quitter said, “I stopped smoking just as I moved into my new house and I have been able spend my money on my children and my new grandson. So my whole family have become winners since I stopped smoking.”
Joanne O’Donnell, Smokefree Hebrides Smoking Coordinator, said, “There are a number of ways to successfully quit. These include choosing a quit method that is right for you and planning in advance how you are going to deal with any temptations or ‘triggers’ to smoke. Getting the right support makes a real difference. Smokers are four times more likely to stop for good with the help from specialist services.
“Our Smokefree Hebrides service offers free counselling and support to anyone who would like to quit smoking. We offer an open door policy to anyone who would like further information on quitting smoking and you can contact us to arrange an appointment with a trained advisor, who will take you through the steps of your quit journey. We offer one-to-one appointments through the use of telephone or face-to-face and can offer a range of other support including e-mail and text.
In Lewis the Smokefree Hebrides team promoted No Smoking Day with information stands at Western Isles Hospital and the Stornoway Health Centre. Jeanne Mackay, Smoking Cessation Officer, assisted by NHS Western Isles Health Promotion staff, offered advice and information to patients, visitors and staff about increasing their chances of a successful quit and to ‘Feel like a winner’.
Information was also distributed throughout NHS Western Isles sites, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Lews Castle College and community pharmacies.
In addition, the Smokefree Hebrides’ team were delighted to receive a phone call from a previous successful client, John Duncan from Stornoway. John, who quit 20 months ago and supported the 2016 NSD campaign, paid tribute to the team in supporting him quit and said, “‘I would never have managed without the support from Smokefree Hebrides.”
Meanwhile in Uist, Marion Matheson, NHS Western Isles Health Improvement Practitioner, and Mairead Macdonald, NHS Western Isles Smoking Cessation Advisor, attended Cothrum Community Centre to provide a learning session with its staff and students. The display on the NSD theme ‘Feel like a winner’ created a lively discussion on why smokers take up the habit and the health and financial benefits of stopping. Information was also provided on the Smokefree Hebrides service with many surprised to learn that those who use a cessation service were four times more likely to stop smoking than if they tried by themselves.
For further information contact the Smokefree Hebrides service on 01851 701623, and friendly advisors will be delighted to offer you further information, advice and support.
Pictured above: (Left) Jeanne Mackay, Smoking Cessation Advisor, pictured with Stornoway Health Centre display. (Right) Staff from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Balivanich, pictured with their workplace display.