Birmingham shoppers encouraged to kick the habit

BIRMINGHAM smokers popping to their local Asda supermarket for a loaf of bread and pint of milk have been urged to kick smoking into touch by a special support team stationed at the supermarket every Saturday until March.

The Birmingham East North Primary Care Trust Stop Smoking help team have offered advice and help to thousands of Asda shoppers at Birmingham’s Small Heath branch since the beginning of January.

And with a host happy ex-smokers fighting the habit already the team behind the initiative are hoping they can help many more smokers to try and quit the habit.

Zaheera Chatra, a Stop Smoking Specialist Advisor, said the success of last years campaign at the store was a perfect antidote to this years initiative.

“This isn’t the first time that we’ve used this particular branch of Asda’s to carry out our campaign”, she said. “Last year we were looking to increase uptake of the service by black and ethnic minority communities and Small Heath has large ethnic population so it was a perfect venue to try and reach out to this group.”

A ban on smoking in all public places kicks in this July and the Stop Smoking Campaign is seen as the perfect way in which to prepare smokers.

While free advice and support is always on hand, the community based campaign also offers six weeks worth of free nicotine replacement therapy for those exempt from charges. For others a simple one-off prescription charge puts them on the way to enjoying a healthier lifestyle.

Ms Chatra added: “Anybody who comes to us is given support and advice by one of our trained team members. We also monitor their carbon monoxide levels on a weekly basis and really support them through the difficult period.”

Anybody who’s interested in giving up smoking can make their way to the Small Heath branch of Asda every Saturday from 11am to 4pm until March 10th.


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