Time to stub it out for good

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AN Alnwick butcher celebrated No Smoking Day yesterday, three years since he quit.

Martin Harder, who works at Morrisons, was smoking 20 or more cigarettes a day when he gave up with a friend in 2009.

He said: “Having my mate quitting with me at the same time was a big help, for us both. It kept us both going. When ever one of us said ‘do you fancy a smoke?’ the other one would say ‘no’ and we’d keep each other motivated like that.It worked for us and I’d urge any smokers thinking of quitting to take the leap. You can do it. I did.”

FRESH is also calling on smokers in the North East to attempt to quit smoking during the week of No Smoking Day 2012.

Last year around 14,000 smokers in the region used it as a trigger for quitting.

Ailsa Rutter, director of FRESH, said: “Martin’s story is a real inspiration and shows how stopping smoking can lead to so many more nicer things in life.

“Smoking is still our biggest killer and smoking related diseases, such as COPD, heart disease, cancers and stroke, result in 11 deaths in the North East every day. Quitting smoking is the best thing anyone can do for their health and their loved ones.”

Help is available from GPs, local pharmacies or the Northumberland NHS Stop Smoking Service on 01670 813135. The NHS Smokefree Helpline can be contacted on 0800 0121612.