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Smokers to quit on No Smoking Day

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no smokingBRITISH HEART FOUNDATION (BHF) Cymru is this week urging smokers living in the county to get the support of local stop smoking services to help them quit on this year’s No Smoking Day on Wednesday 12 March.

The latest figures show that 19% of people living in Pembrokeshire smoke, which is over 23,000 people. Half of all long-term smokers die because of their addiction to tobacco, making this one of the most pressing health concerns in the area, according to the nation’s heart charity.

Research from stop smoking services shows that smokers are four times more likely to be effective in quitting if they use specialist stop smoking support and treatment.

Dr Mike Knapton, Associate Director of Prevention and Care at BHF Cymru said: “Quitting smoking is the single best thing you can do to improve your health. Stubbing the cigarettes out will significantly reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and a variety of cancers and you’ll have more money to spend on things that you enjoy.

“We know that quitting isn’t easy but last year nearly a million smokers across the UK used No Smoking Day to try and mark the start of their smoke free future. We’re encouraging people to get support from their local stop smoking service now and join forces with other would-be quitters across the country on March 12, to win the battle with cigarettes once and for all.”

Although more than two-thirds of smokers want to give up, BHF research shows that one in five people in Wales are putting it off because they are concerned about putting on weight. The poll also revealed that nearly one in four (23%) Welsh smokers have lit up after a meal to stop them eating more.

Victoria Taylor, Senior Heart Health Dietitian at the British Heart Foundation said: “Some smokers feel they need to smoke to keep trim but, contrary to the urban myth, you don’t have to consign yourself to an early grave in order to stay in control of your waistline.

“We’re encouraging people to start their own battle plan now by following our tips and filling their fridge and handbag with healthy snacks to help them ditch the cigarettes for good on No Smoking Day and come out looking better than ever.”

Around 6,000 people in the Wales die prematurely from smoking related causes each year, including an estimated 1,500 from heart and circulatory diseases and 3,000 from cancer.

Despite this nearly a quarter (23%) of Wales’ population still continue to smoke.

The BHF’s annual No Smoking Day campaign encouraged a million people to attempt to quit smoking last year. This year’s ‘V for Victory’ theme is set to inspire even more people to win the fight against cigarettes and quit for good on March 12.

BHF Dietitian Victoria Taylor shares her tips to help you to minimise weight gain during the quitting process and keep the weight off once you’ve given up for good:

Brush your teeth or try chewing some sugar free gum when you get a craving for a cigarette. The clean feeling in your mouth and minty taste can help to deter you from smoking and it can also help to curb cravings or urges to eat too.

Keeping your hands busy can be important when you are trying to give up. Avoid the temptation to keep nibbling and try playing a word or number game on your phone, doing some cleaning around the house or fiddly tasks that we often put off, like sewing.

Set aside 30 minutes five times a week for getting active. It can help you to manage stress and will also use up some energy which is perfect for helping you to stick with your quit as well as manage your weight. For more top tips, information and support on quitting, visit: nosmokingday.org.uk

For Stop Smoking Wales services visit – www.stopsmokingwales.com – 0800 085 2219

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Plan your Year of Discovery in Pembrokeshire with Coast to Coast

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PEMBROKESHIRE’S visitors and residents can discover how to make the most of the UK’s only coastal National Park during Wales’ Year of Discovery by taking inspiration from the National Park Authority’s information-packed newspaper Coast to Coast.

The must-read paper, which is distributed across the county, is full of information about where to go to discover Pembrokeshire’s coastline, beaches, its castles and historic sites, as well as promoting self-discovery and personal health.

Helping locals and visitors make the most of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park from spring through to early autumn, Coast to Coast has been produced by the Park Authority for 37 years and features galleries, arts and crafts, watersports, gardens and boat trips.

Speaking of the publication, the Authority’s Chief Executive Tegryn Jones said: “Coast to Coast is a fantastic introduction to the National Park and surrounding area and includes features on the Park Authority’s popular family attractions: Carew Castle and Tidal Mill, Oriel y Parc Gallery and Visitor Centre in St Davids and Castell Henllys Iron Age Village.

“More than 200,000 people pick up a paper copy of Coast to Coast each year, but you can still use this great resource if you prefer to get your information from a smartphone, laptop, tablet or PC, including a map and six-month tide table, at www.pembrokeshirecoast.wales/coasttocoast.

“There are ideas for coastal walks for all abilities, and discovering new and varied activities and landscapes in the National Park and area, including a ‘Try Something New’ page.

“It also includes the Authority’s activities and events programme which offers a unique opportunity to discover the heritage, wildlife, countryside and coastline of the National Park.”

 

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Community

Sincere apology to whistle-blower following Mik Smith cover-up

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THE COUNCIL has apologised after a damning report into the Mik Smith affair has heavily criticised senior council officers, including the former Head of Youth Service Eirian Evans, former Chief Executive Bryn Parry Jones, and former Council leader Jamie Adams.

The report prepared by a task and finish group of councillors takes no prisoners as it lays into the series of missteps and attempted cover-ups regarding the way the local authority’s then-leadership responded to a whistle-blower who reported serious concerns about the convicted paedophile’s relationship with young people in his care while a youth worker for the Council.

As the Leader of the present Administration of Pembrokeshire County Council, I am extremely pleased to see this report produced by the Members of the Task and Finish Group and I appreciate the input of Members, Officers and individuals to produce the conclusions in the report.

Cllr David Simpson said in a statement: “I am however drawn to the involvement of the Whistle Blower in this case. It is never an easy thing to whistle blow in the workplace and I appreciate this is something people have concerns over. It is crucial to ensure that we continue to encourage people to whistle blow and our policy and procedures, I am pleased to say have been updated and reviewed significantly since the period of time these matters occurred. These procedures now can empower people to whistle blow when they wish to report matters of concern.

“Regarding the case in question, I would very much like to thank the Whistle Blower who came forward in the first instance and who provided information of that experience to the Task and Finish Group process. That experience and insight is crucial when organisations like ours seek to learn from negative situations and by adopting recommendations from the group today we are continuing to ensure ever improving safeguarding procedures.

“Therefore I am extremely thankful for the involvement of the whistle blower in this process and would like to offer my sincere apology to her for having to be engaged in this sensitive matter over such a protracted period of time and having to re-visit what would have been a challenging and upsetting set of circumstances.

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Community

Pembroke Dock: Extraordinary stories of arctic exploration

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YOU can discover extraordinary stories of arctic exploration at a special event at Pembroke Dock Library this week.

On Wednesday 18th April from 7pm, David Saunders MBE will be discussing the journeys of three ships built in Pembroke Dock and bound for the Arctic, only to be lost in some of the most mysterious stories in the history of exploration.

David is a maritime historian, a subject he has studied extensively and has always been passionate about.

He is also a well-known naturalist, having become the first warden of Skomer Island in 1960. He was awarded a MBE in 2003.

The event is free to attend and no booking is required.

For more information, contact Pembroke Dock Library on 01437 775 825.

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