MORE than 20,000 people have stubbed out their cigarettes since 2012.

Cumbria County Council's health chief revealed the statistic ahead of tomorrow's National No Smoking Day, which encourages the county’s smokers to seek support to quit.

People who get expert support from local stop smoking services are up to four times more likely to quit successfully as those who try to quit unaided. Support can be accessed for free from local pharmacies.

Colin Cox, Cumbria County Council’s director of public health, said: “Since 2012, smoking prevalence in adults in Cumbria has reduced by around 23,000 people. We’re heading in the right direction to a healthier and smoke free Cumbria.

“Quitting is the best thing you can do for your health and the health of those around you.

"No Smoking Day is a great opportunity to start a fresh and choose the support that is right for you.

“Our Stop Smoking Services across Cumbria are friendly, free and open for anyone who would like to quit smoking.”

Members of the public can find local stop smoking support by texting ‘pharmacy stop your postcode’ to 80011 or by visiting the county council’s website.

NHS Smokefree is another source of support and provides free online Personal Quit Plans, which help people who smoke find the right support for them - with options including face-to-face support, nicotine replacement therapies, such as patches, inhalers or lozenges, and e-cigarettes.

"The advice for committed smokers who can’t or won’t quit is that switching completely to e-cigarettes will significantly benefit their health," said a council spokesman.

"The key messages the county council is keen to promote are if you don’t smoke, don’t start vaping; if you do smoke, stop altogether if you can - and our pharmacies can help; and if you can’t stop, or don’t want to - switch to vaping."

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