A health group is hoping to help people kick the habit and give up smoking in the new year.
Live Well Suffolk – a health service commissioned by Suffolk County Council – hopes to help 1,000 smokers give up across the county in its 1,000 Smokers Wanted campaign.
With an estimated 3,000 smokers in Sudbury alone, the town is a key target area for the group.
Tasha Rivers, Live Well Suffolk’s community health coach, who is based in Sudbury, said: “I’ll be on hand to help people take the first steps towards a smoke-free lifestyle.
“I will work with clients on an individual basis to work out the best method for them and help them with the practicalities of quitting, like how to deal with cravings and how to avoid weight gain.
“Our stop smoking support is completely free, so there’s nothing stopping you from giving quitting a try.
“Quitting is tough, and we don’t want people to think that just because they’ve tried and failed in the past, they can’t try again.”
Mrs Rivers said that with help from the group, smokers were four times more likely to successfully quit than attempting alone.
The campaign coincides with a new hard-hitting national stop smoking advertising campaign.
The Health Harms initiative from Public Health England highlights the damage caused to the body by smoking and how it causes a slow and steady decline.
A new report by the national body has shown that smoking also damages bones, muscles, the brain, teeth and eyes.
Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in Suffolk and an estimated one in three people in the county die every day from smoking-related causes.
It is estimated to cost almost £195million every year in Suffolk through lost productivity, cost to the healthcare service and other related factors.
Live Well Suffolk’s stop smoking support is free and offers group or one-to-one sessions.
To sign up to the 1,000 Smokers Wanted campaign, call 01473 229292 or go the website at www.livewellsuffolk.org.uk.