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Smokers looking to tackle their addiction are being encouraged to team up with Albion in the Community (AITC).

AITC is offering smokers in Brighton and Hove free support to help them quit, with a number of new regular group sessions launching across the city, including three in Whitehawk and two in Moulsecoomb.

The smoking cessation project, which is funded by Brighton & Hove City Council’s Public Health and NHS Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group, uses a mix of...

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Free support to smokers looking to tackle their addiction

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Smokers looking to tackle their addiction are being encouraged to team up with Albion in the Community (AITC).

AITC is offering smokers in Brighton and Hove free support to help them quit, with a number of new regular group sessions launching across the city, including three in Whitehawk and two in Moulsecoomb.

The smoking cessation project, which is funded by Brighton & Hove City Council’s Public Health and NHS Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group, uses a mix of one-to-one drop-ins and group sessions, with AITC also offering complementary support in terms of food, nutrition and physical activity. Anyone signing up will also be eligible to receive nicotine replacement therapies.

A pilot group ran at the end of 2018, with the majority of participants successfully quitting.

Jane Hau (pictured above with AITC’s Sadie Ashby) is a fantastic example of the impact AITC’s support can have. She had been smoking 10-20 cigarettes a day for almost 30 years. In fact, such was the hold her addiction had on her, she once snuck out of a hospital bed, still wearing her medical robes, to get a taxi to take her home and fetch her cigarettes. Her habit was also costing her the best part of £4,000 a year.

However, all that changed when she noticed an advert for a smoking cessation group being run by Brighton & Hove Albion’s official charity. Jane, who lives in Brighton, was AITC’s website booking a football session for her son, saw the advert and decided to send the charity’s health team an email. AITC phoned her within 10 minutes of the email being sent; within an hour she was attending her first group session in Hangleton.

Just three sessions later, Jane had stopped smoking and she has now been smoke free since 24 November. As she explained, the positivity she encountered at the group – both from AITC’s team and the other members, was key to helping her quit.

Jane said: “I had tried to quit before two or three times and the longest I lasted was two days.

“I wasn’t planning on giving up when I did, but it was one of the best spontaneous actions I have ever done. It has changed my life forever.

“I loved the way there was no judgement at the sessions and everything focused on the positivity of making changes. Everyone there gave each other encouragement and support. I wanted to do it for my son, the other people on the course, and myself. I quit on my third session and I couldn’t believe it.

“I was 29 years smoking. It had a hold on me. Now I feel empowered, liberated, and stronger. My son is so proud of me and I have shown him you can overcome things.

“I am eternally grateful to AITC. I’m not going to go back to smoking.”

For more information text QUIT to 07876 898023 or email: speakup@albioninthecommunity.org.uk.