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The shop based on Southgate Street helped 970 residents to quit the smoking habit last year as service manager Elaine Watson from Gloucestershire Care Services explained: “We see around two hundred people per week at the Quit Shop, where our friendly advisers offer free practical support and advice to help each individual to reach their goal.  Since we started in 2001, we have helped more than 26,000 people in the county to stop smoking – so having three more advisers will be a fantastic boost to the services we can provide.”

With a success rate of seventy two per cent placing the Quit Shop as one of the best in the country, the shop’s team of advisers have a real understanding of the challenges involved in giving up smoking.

James Curtis, lead trainer for the service, said: “We recognise that the hardest part is quitting alone. That’s why we have specialist advisers, who act as buddies, offering one to one support through appointments and drop in clinics, as well as a number of Stop Smoking Groups. Group sessions are becoming more and more popular, as they build a network of quitters who can support each other throughout their journey; it’s great, as no one has to quit alone.”

Sometimes just getting through the door can be the biggest step to help quitting, as friends Vicky and Felicity from Barton and Tredworth, said: “We came here to quit smoking having failed quite a few times trying on our own. We’d have a good chat each week and were made to feel at ease which in turn helped us to quit. We found it very encouraging, it really helped us to focus and we really looked forward to going along each Monday”.

The Quit Shop is open Monday – Friday between 9.00am-5.00pm, 9.00am-4.00pm on Saturdays and 10.00am-2.00pm on Sundays. There is also an evening course on a Tuesday evening 6.00-7.00pm.

20 Southgate Street, Gloucester, GL1 2DP  Telephone number (to book appointments):   01452 385327  Website: http://www.stopsmokingsupportglos.org.uk/

15 February 2013