New Year’s resolutions: quit smoking and cut back on booze

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The New Year is upon us and people all over Lancashire have been busy making their resolutions for 2015.

Stopping smoking or cutting back on alcohol will be top of the list for many people.

Almost 20% of the county’s population smokes and two-thirds of them want to quit.

Lancashire County Council is urging people who want to give up to contact their local stop smoking service.

County Coun. Azhar Ali, Lancashire County Council’s cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “Stopping smoking in 2015 will be a goal for many people across Lancashire. The best way to do this is to call our free stop smoking services.

“They are run by trained medical staff who will give you all the advice you need to quit, as well as free medicines to keep the nicotine cravings at bay. You are four times more likely to quit with the support of these services.”

People who want to quit smoking can call the East Lancashire stop smoking service on 0800 328 6297.

Lancashire County Council is also supporting Dry January, the national campaign run by Alcohol Concern.

Around 20% of Lancashire’s population are considered to be at an increased risk of damaging their health because of their alcohol consumption.

Dry January encourages people to give their body a break following Christmas and the party season by not drinking alcohol in January.

In 2014, more than 17,000 people took part in Dry January with 80% saying they had cut down on the amount they drink for the rest of the year.

County Coun. Ali added: “Many people drink a lot more over Christmas and New Year. Dry January is about people taking a break from alcohol, swapping alcoholic drinks for something softer and thinking about their drinking habits. Taking up the Dry January challenge will be a great way to start 2015.”

People can sign up to dry January by visiting www.dryjanuary.org.uk.