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Smokers can get help in Hartlepool to quit the habit

The event will run from 10am to 3pm at Middleton Grange Shopping Centre tomorrow – National Clean Air Day – with public health staff on hand to talk to smokers who want to give up.

The health experts from Hartlepool Borough Council will also be handing out leaflets containing useful information.

Sue Leather, advanced public health practitioner with the council, said: “We are keen to reach as many people as possible.

“We think it is important that stop smoking support is provided at convenient times for people and we will be explaining our new way of working.

“We also thought that it was appropriate to link the event in the shopping centre to National Clean Air Day as, after all, smoking does make a big contribution to air quality.”

Council bosses are working with a range of other agencies to provide advice and support to people trying to stop smoking.

The new way of working acknowledges that helping someone stop smoking, involves building expertise and capacity in the community by creating a wide pool of trained staff, including school nurses, health visitors and family support workers.

The need for a new approach iis highlighted by statistics showing there has been an average decline of 40% in the number of people using local specialist stop smoking services since 2014/15 – even though there are still over 14,000 smokers in the town.

Mark Rycraft, Middleton Grange Shopping Centre manager, said: “We are thrilled to welcome such a vital initiative to the centre.”