Health: No smoking experts gear up for leap year challenge

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Smokers will be on the receiving end of an unusual leap year proposal in February with a campaign to get them to ‘take the leap’ and quit the habit.

The No Smoking Day campaign, which is now part of the British Heart Foundation, is urging smokers to take the leap on February 29 – leap year day - and prepare to quit smoking exactly two weeks later on No Smoking Day, on March 14.

About 10 million UK adults smoke but about two thirds say they want to give up .

Each year, the No Smoking Day campaign is responsible for helping more than 750,000 people across the UK attempt to quit on the day, and for inspiring another two million to seek out information to help them quit in future.

Vishnee Sauntoo, a smoking cessation adviser who now works on the No Smoking Day campaign, said: “We’ve got a proposal for smokers this leap year day and it doesn’t involve any of the usual family politics. We want smokers to take the leap with us and get ready to quit with hundreds of thousands of other people across the UK on No Smoking Day.

“The benefits of quitting are enormous. Stopping smoking is the single best thing you can do for your own health as well as those you love and live with.

“Quitting also makes you look better by improving your skin and teeth and, of course, it helps your finances too. Whatever your reason, we’re here to help and support you all the way.

“So if you smoke, why not take this alternative lovers leap, after all it’s one that’ll definitely give you a happy ending.”

Smokers who take the leap will have exactly two weeks to register with No Smoking Day’s WeQuit service for information and advice, as well as visit their GP, get their patches, gum, plastic inhaler or whatever they choose to help them quit in preparation to start a smoke free life.

Smokers who want to find out more can visit or call 0800 434 6677.