SMOKERS across Bromsgrove, Rubery and Droitwich are being urged to kick the habit on No Smoking Day on Wednesday (March 11).
People can get lots of help from their local NHS Stop Smoking Services, including nicotine replacement products and medicines, along with help and support from others.
Statistics show smokers are four times more likely to stop if they receive help from NHS Stop Smoking Services than if they go it alone.
The latest figures from the British Heart Foundation (BHF) show 14 per cent of adults across Bromsgrove and Wychavon smoke – four per cent below the national average.
Dr Mike Knapton, the BHF’s associate medical director, said the bad news was smoking increased the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and a variety of cancers.
But, he added, stopping was the single best thing people could do for their heart and that the risk to their overall health decreased significantly as soon as they stopped.
“We’re encouraging smokers to visit their GP, pharmacist or local stop smoking advisor to receive resources, information, and advice on quitting smoking.
“Getting prepared for your quit attempt is the first step on the journey towards a smoke-free life.”
During 2013-14, more than 2,500 people from across Worcestershire quit smoking using their local stop smoking service.
Among the BHF’s top five tips to help people stop smoking are make a date to give up and stick to it and make a plan about what can help them stop smoking and have it ready for when they planned to stop.
The charity also suggested smokers let their family and friends know they were quitting as talking to them could be helpful.
And it urged smokers to keep busy to keep their mind off cigarettes and to treat themselves, for example by using the money they would have spent on cigarettes to buy themselves something special.
For more on No Smoking Day, visit www.nosmokingday.org.uk and to join the conversation on Twitter, use the hashtag #NoSmokingDay.