Today is No Smoking Day and military personnel across the UK and overseas are being encouraged to join thousands of British smokers in attempting to quit.
An event taking place at Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton is typical of many happening across the UK today.
The dental and medical teams together with the physical training staff at the air station are trying to help smokers stamp out the habit as nearly a million people in the UK attempt to quit.
No Smoking Day is an annual health awareness campaign aimed at smokers who want to stop. The campaign hopes to trigger quit attempts by highlighting all the benefits of stopping and the most effective sources of help available.
Military No Smoking Day has shown itself year after year to be a cost-effective way of helping Service personnel stop smoking.
Two-thirds of military personnel who smoke would like to stop and, by using No Smoking Day, many have successfully done so.
Today is the 28th No Smoking Day campaign and the 11th Military No Smoking Day.
Members of RNAS Yeovilton who wish to stop smoking are being invited to take part in the No Smoking Day event on the air station which will see the ‘Big Cig’ and members of the dental team visiting all squadrons and departments with promotional material and offering friendly help and advice.
Smokers can come along and have their carbon monoxide levels checked and receive No Smoking Day goodies. The smoking cessation advisors on the station can offer counselling and nicotine replacement therapy as well as support throughout the process of giving up smoking.
Petty Officer Dental Nurse Nikki Hammill, organiser of the event, said:
I am an ex-smoker and it isn’t easy to give up but it is important to make sure you are ready to quit. One in five people in the UK smoke and of these 63 per cent want to stop.
I have joined with the NHS Stop Smoking Services to help Yeovilton personnel and if anyone wants to quit there is no better time to on 9 March.
Petty Officer Hammill has also offered the following top tips to help smokers quit:
- contact your Medical Centre, Dental Centre or Physical Training Instructor.
- get some nicotine replacement therapy such as patches or gum. It can double the chance of stopping for good - talk to a GP or pharmacist.
- write down your reasons to stop and stick them on the fridge to help yourself stay smoke free.
- talk to friends, family and workmates - support from them is essential. Why not quit together and keep each other motivated?
- chat to other smokers trying to quit and ex-smokers for support at the ‘We Quit’ website