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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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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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Kilgetty: Walkers raise £3700 for Harriet Davis Trust

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LAST AUGUST, the customers of the White Horse Inn organised a sponsored walk to raise funds for the Harriet Davis Trust.

The team of 30 walkers, led by Dilwyn Davies, has now collected all the sponsor money and the donations have reached a fantastic £3713.

Elizabeth Sleight, fundraiser for the trust said: “This was a truly amazing fundraising effort by Dilwyn and the White Horse Inn team, and we were completely overwhelmed by the result.

“Everyone has been so generous and it will make a huge difference in helping us give disabled children the best possible holidays.”

The Harriet Davis Trust has four holiday houses in Pembrokeshire for disabled children and their families and it is currently raising funds to refurbish its Giltar View property in Southcliffe Street, Tenby.

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Community

Haverfordwest: Fresh artist on the block ready for exhibition

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AN EXHIBITION showcasing the work of an extremely talented local artist will open on Monday, August 1 at The VC Gallery in High Street, Haverfordwest.

Maxine Bunston from Haverfordwest, who has only had one year of experience in the art industry, has managed to create a huge range of fantastic art work, that she will be proudly presenting next week.

The Herald caught up with Maxine, to talk about the art that she will be exhibiting, and what it means to her. She said: “It’s escapism from mental health. It keeps me distracted from low self esteem, especially when people have commented on my appearance. But, mainly, it’s a distraction from mental health and self harm.”

Many of Maxine’s beautiful paintings depict delicate fairies, and The Herald asked Maxine why she decided to feature these in her work. She said: “They’re mystical and magical, and it’s escapism in the way of feeling like a child: Everything is innocent, and it’s the light-heartedness of life, really.”

Maxine has long struggled with mental health, and her art has reflected her emotions and what she was going through at the time.

Everything is innocent: Maxine paints to escape from mental health

Friend of Maxine and regular at The VC Gallery, Mia Gillies, said: “I’ve known Maxine for 10 years, and she started doing art at Bro Cerwen. I’ve seen her evolve from celtic style into really detailed fairy work, with dots and lots of action going on.

“She has really streamlined her work and now, you recognise it as Maxine’s work. It’s also not messy and more, it’s really clean and very intricate.”

All of the paintings at Maxine’s exhibition, which runs from August 1 until August 31, are for sale with prints available on request.

When asked if she classes herself as an artist, Maxine said: “No, I don’t like to call myself an artist. If someone asks me what I do, I don’t say that I’m an artist.”

If you would like to visit The VC Gallery to see Maxine’s wonderful work on display, you can do so from 10am until 5pm, Monday to Friday. To view Maxine’s work online, you can also visit www.facebook.com/escapistfantasyart

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