MP to visit Leicester’s stop-smoking service

Published on 06 September 2017

AN MP with a particular interest in smoking and health will be visiting Leicester’s stop-smoking service this week.

On Thursday (7), Sir Kevin Barron MP will visit the service – which is called Stop – to find out more about how it helps people to quit.

Sir Kevin is vice-chair of the all-party parliamentary group on smoking and health.

Leicester’s stop-smoking service was the first to realise the potential for ‘vaping’ to help people quit. It has worked with e-cigarettes since 2014, as part of its service to help people stop smoking for good.

Sir Kevin was invited to visit by deputy city mayor Cllr Rory Palmer, who leads on public health for Leicester.

Cllr Palmer said: “We’re very proud of our stop smoking service, which helped more than 1,600 people quit last year. We also recognise that more people are using e-cigarettes to help them quit.

“Stop smoking services are a hugely important part of our public health agenda, because if you smoke, quitting is the most effective thing you can do to improve your chances of good health in the future. That’s why I’m so concerned that the Government is continuing to make cuts to public health funding.

“I’m very pleased that Sir Kevin wants to come and find out more about what we do here in Leicester and why our stop-smoking service is proving so successful.”

Service manager Louise Ross added: “‘E-cigarettes can be very effective, and we have seen many success stories with people who have switched to vaping. It’s important people don’t simply combine vaping with smoking – that’s why we provide tailored support for people who want to quit smoking for good.

“Additional help can include free access to nicotine replacement therapies, plus advice and support on how to handle tricky situations, such as social gatherings, where people might feel the urge to smoke.”

Sir Kevin said: Leicester’s stop-smoking services are nationally recognised as one of the trailblazers in the use of vaping products.

“As someone who has a long-standing interest in smoking and public health, I am looking forward to meeting with the deputy mayor and the stop smoking team to see what lessons can be learned and used more widely.”

The service also runs specialist stop-smoking sessions at workplaces, for pregnant women and for people with mental health difficulties, working closely with Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust.

People can refer themselves to Stop, which is a free service. They’ll then be offered one-to-one support over a period of 12 weeks.

To use the service or find out more, call 0116 454 4000 or email stop@leicester.gov.uk

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Media opportunity: Sir Kevin Barron MP and Cllr Palmer will be meeting stop-smoking staff and service users at Beaumont Leys Library, LE4 1DS from 11.30am-1pm on Thursday 7 September. You are invited to send a reporter/photographer.