DON’T stall your plans to stop smoking... that is the message from the NHS Wirral Quit Stop smoking team.
The campaign – supported by the Wirral News – is now right in the heart of the community encouraging people to pack in the addictive weed.
The campaign aims to urge thousands of people on the east of the peninsula to stop smoking and has now developed a network of venues where its team can be contacted and the first steps to quitting can be made.
In the past few weeks the campaign has taken on a stall at Birkenhead Market, open on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, from 10am to 4pm.
Mike Donnelly, Smoke Free Wirral programme manager, said: “We want people to come along and see us, hopefully sign up for the Quit Stop smoking programme and take those first steps to packing in cigarettes.”
Marie Dane from Prenton, dropped into the stall and said: “It’s great that you don’t have to make an appointment, you can just pop in and they’ll sort you out with your patches.
“I have tried quitting a few times before but you just have to keep having a go don’t you?
“I found the staff on the stall were really helpful and encouraging.”
Mike Donnelly said of the scheme: “With traditional stop-smoking services you get one crack at it, but what I’m really pleased with about the way we deliver the service is that it has been successful in people feeling that they can come back again to try again, even if they weren’t successful first time.
“To me, the way we operate reflects the quitters’ journey, which is relapse; quit, relapse quit.
“Basically our message is that we’re there for you when you need us, so I’m quite pleased with that and how it is being received.”
The campaign’s mobile trailer is in Rock Ferry on Tuesdays, and Leasowe on Thursdays (noon-4pm).
On Saturdays the trailer goes into the middle of Liscard. On Friday nights between 2-8pm, the Quit Stop team is available in Asda Liscard and Asda Woodchurch.
Mike said: “We’re out five days a week,other than Sunday and Monday. We want to be out in the community and so far it’s going really well.
“We are getting a lot of people signing up, but the fall-off in that first week can be be quite big, with people signing up to give up smoking when they see us out and about, but then they are daunted by the reality of doing it.
“We just want people to know that we are there to always offer support. We understand how hard it can be.”