There’s never been a better time to quit smoking


Hackney’s 44,000 smokers are being encouraged to make annual No Smoking Day on 8 March their date to quit smoking for good.

Giving up smoking has lots of health benefits, from living longer to easier breathing, to improved fertility and younger looking skin. Quitting can also save money, with the average pack of 20 cigarettes now costing £10.

The theme for this year’s campaign is ‘there’s never been a better time to quit’, reflecting the amount of support available to help quit smoking, a growing list of cigarette alternatives, such as electronic cigarettes, and the roll out of standardised packaging in May.

Proud Hackney Quitter, Alex Tsokallis, 60 years old from Clapton
I’ve smoked from the age of 16, and from smoking around eight to 20 cigarettes a day I felt breathless, I stunk of cigarettes which other people noticed, and I’ve had heart trouble which I've had to have an operation for. After seeing my GP who referred me to the Hackney Stop Smoking Service, and after attending some sessions at my local library, I’ve been smoke free for a year now.

The support from the service was great, they gave me a choice of medication so I could find out what worked best for me and they gave me plenty of hints and tips to fight the cravings, like going for a walk or taking up a hobby.

Since I stopped smoking, I’ve saved around £3,000 which I’ve spent on going to restaurants and other activities. I’m also a lot livelier now, I can taste food again and I’ve got the energy now to do things that I couldn’t be bothered to do before. The smell of cigarettes makes me feel sick and it frightens me to think back to the cravings that I once had. This is coming from someone who used to I love smoking.

If you want to stop smoking you need the willpower to do it, but support is there when you need it. I’d recommend getting in contact with the Hackney Stop Smoking Service and attending some of their free sessions, that’s how I did it!
Proud Hackney Quitter, Alex Tsokallis, 60 years old from Clapton
Cllr Jonathan McShane, Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Devolution, Hackney Council
We have an excellent stop smoking service in Hackney, with specialist advisors offering a range of medication and one-to-one behavioural support across a number of locations in the borough. Giving up smoking will prevent serious health conditions and you’ll have more money in your pocket, so put Wednesday 8 March in your diary and take the first steps to quit for good!
Cllr Jonathan McShane, Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Devolution, Hackney Council

Two thirds of all smokers want to quit smoking. With one-to-one support and stop smoking medication, a smoker is four times more likely to quit.

The Hackney Stop Smoking Service will be available to speak to in person throughout the week at these locations:

Tuesday 7 March
11am - 2pm
The Health Spot,
Hackney Central Library,
1 Reading Lane,
E8 1DY

Wednesday 8 March
10am - 4pm
Smoking Cessation Gazebo
Ridley Road Market,
51 - 63 Ridley Road,
E8 2NP

Wednesday 8 March
10am – 3pm
Main Entrance - Outpatients Department
Homerton University Hospital,
Homerton Row,
E9 6SR

Thursday 9 March
1pm – 4pm
Hackney Service Centre,
1 Hillman Street,
E8 1DY

Last year, more than one thousand residents successfully quit using the Hackney Stop Smoking Service. For confidential, expert advice and where to get support to stop smoking, contact Hackney’s Stop Smoking Service on: 0800 046 9946 or: 020 3316 1085 or visit the Smoke Free Hackney website.

Find more information about No Smoking Day, visit the website or join the conversion on Twitter using the hashtag #NoSmokingDay