‘Quit and be a winner’ Olympic track star urges local smokers

This news broke on Wednesday, February 17th, 2016 | For more breaking news visit our news page

It’s not often you hear an Olympic star say that winners quit but that’s what Christian Malcolm is telling smokers in Maesteg.

The track hero is playing ‘Coach Quit’ for Stop Smoking Wales, in a bid to encourage smokers to give up smoking to help achieve their fitness goals in 2016.

With the Six Nations, Euro 2016, Olympics and Paralympics tipped to inspire sports fans in Maesteg to get active this year, the Commonwealth Games medallist is advising smokers that the health benefits from quitting will mean sporting activity is more achievable when you’re smoke-free.

The Newport-born star, who won a Commonwealth Games 200m silver in Kuala Lumpur and a bronze in Delhi for Team Wales, revealed that smokers who quit using the free NHS support on offer from Stop Smoking Wales are four times more likely to quit than those who go it alone.

There are free local Stop Smoking Wales sessions in Maesteg at venues including ASDA on Castle St, Bron Y Garn Surgery in Maesteg Hospital, Maesteg Sports Centre, Woodlands Surgery, and Llynfi Surgery.

Christian (32) said: “Growing up, I was surrounded by smokers among my friends and family and I’ve seen first-hand how difficult it is to quit. Much like in sport, having a support network around you to push you when you need it and help you stay focused on your aims is crucial to giving up the habit.

“In sport, winners never quit. When it comes to smoking, quitting is the only way to win.

“Sport has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember and I know for a fact that I could not have got to where I am today without a coach to support me and a team to share my goals.

“Having a coach is massively important; they build your confidence, help you to correct your bad habits and provide you with crucial one-to-one support. If you’re looking to quit smoking, you’ll need the same.

“It’s great to be part of a campaign focused on encouraging people to become healthier and try their hand at sports and I’m proud to have an active role in helping these people as Coach Quit.”

Helen Sullivan, senior Stop Smoking Advisor at Stop Smoking Wales, said: “We are thrilled to have Christian on board as our Coach Quit to offer advice and support to those looking to reach their goals.

“It’s going to be hard to get away from sport in Wales in 2016. The Six Nations are just around the corner, while our footballers, Olympians and Paralympians will dominate the summer.

“These events will inspire thousands of ordinary people to exercise, but smokers could feel left out as their habit hinders them in reaching their personal best. Stop Smoking Wales advisors act as personal Coach Quits for smokers. They’re specially trained to coach you to overcome cravings and beat smoking for good.”

Stop Smoking Wales is a free specialist NHS health service that provides sessions for smokers who want help to give up smoking.

People who are interested in receiving free help from Stop Smoking Wales can visit stopsmokingwales.com or call 0800 085 2219.

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