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HMS Raleigh Supports No Smoking Day

‘Big Cig’ during its tour of the establishment in the lead up to No Smoking Day
‘Big Cig’ during its tour of the establishment in the lead up to No Smoking Day

A series of events will be held at HMS Raleigh this week to encourage smokers to follow the theme of this year’s ‘No Smoking Day’ and ‘take the first step’ to quit their habit.

The establishment is taking part in the ninth military No Smoking Day, which takes place on Wednesday 11 March, as part of the wider UK campaign.  The Smoking Cessation team from HMS Raleigh’s Medical and Dental Departments will be visiting the various training areas around the establishment in the lead up to No Smoking Day to raise the profile of the event and seek donations for the charity, Cancer Research .  They will be accompanied by the ‘Big Cig’ who will be on-hand to show Royal Navy personnel the damage smoking causes to their health.

On Wednesday 11 March the Smoking Cessation team will man support stalls set up centrally in the establishment.  They will be available to provide information on smoking related illnesses and the best way to approach the task of giving up smoking.   Staff at HMS Raleigh will also be invited to take part in a variety of competitions, including ‘Spot the Cig’, which will involve the ‘Big Cig’ posing at various locations within HMS Raleigh.  The first person to ring up and confirm the sighting and location of the ‘Big Cig’ will win a prize.

Currently the smoking rate across the Royal Navy stands at 19%, lower than the national average of 26%.  There is clear evidence to suggest that two thirds of people who smoke would like to stop.  Alongside the usual benefits of a smoke free lifestyle, financially it is calculated that a 20 a day smoker can save over £2,000 every year by stopping smoking.   The MOD is committed to helping those who wish to stop smoking to do so.

Surgeon Commander James McIntosh, HMS Raleigh’s Principal Medical Officer, said:  “No Smoking Day is all about raising the awareness of the negative health effects of smoking and pointing those who wish to stop in the direction of where they can get help.  It is an ideal target date for those who wish to stop smoking.  HMS Raleigh’s Medical Centre has five Smoking Cessation Advisors, who are available to offer counselling and nicotine replacement therapies to Service personnel.  We work in close conjunction with the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Health Authority to achieve this aim.”

No Smoking Day is the UK's leading health campaign for smokers who want to stop.  Last year’s event saw 1.2 million smokers kick the habit.  The campaign is run by a charity of the same name, which is supported by a coalition of governmental and voluntary sector organisations.