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Smokers set to quit for new year

The equivalent of every adult in Newcastle, Manchester, Coventry and Bristol will attempt to give up smoking this month as 1.2 million people in England make it their new year's resolution to quit, figures show.

Research reveals January is the most popular month to give up cigarettes, while studies have suggested those who do quit at the beginning of the year are more successful.

The findings come as part of a Government campaign being launched to get smokers to use NHS smoking cessation services.

Public health minister Dawn Primarolo said: "Between January and March 2007, around 130,000 smokers successfully quit with the support of their local NHS stop-smoking service.

"Research has shown that smokers who quit with NHS support are up to four times more likely to succeed."

Leading tobacco expert Professor Robert West, from University College London, analyses attempts to quit and claims seven out of 10 smokers want to stop.

He said "We have found that almost half of all smokers actually try to stop smoking at least once over the course of the year and one in eight try to quit in January.

"Contrary to popular scepticism of new year's resolutions, smokers who quit in January also tend to be more successful at staying off cigarettes."

Related video: Managaing smoking cessation in Primary Care

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