A NEW project encouraging people to quit smoking launches in the city today.

Giving up smoking is the biggest positive action people can take to protect their health.

And the team at Brighton and Hove Albion’s official charity is trying new ways to help people make the steps towards a smoke free life.

Albion in the Community’s specially-trained coaches will soon be working in Whitehawk, Moulsecoomb and Bevendean, as well as other areas in the west of the city.

Using a mix of one-to-one drop-ins and group sessions, the charity is offering people a range of options to help them stop.

For example, the stop smoking groups will be able to access free support with food, nutrition and physical activity.

The first group launches today at St Richard’s Community Centre in Hangleton, and will run on Friday lunchtimes.

Extra support will be provided by The Hangleton and Knoll Project.

Anyone signing up will be eligible to receive nicotine replacement therapies, while the service is also e-cigarette friendly and will help people using vapes as a way to quit.

Siobhan Meaker, health manager at AITC, had this message for smokers looking to quit:

“If you’re thinking about quitting, we are on your team.

“We know with the right support you can become smoke free and feel the benefits straight away.

“A 20-a-day habit doesn’t just harm your health, it can hit your wallet hard, costing more than £3,000 a year.

“Let our coaches help you kick it.”

For more information text QUIT to 07876 898023 or email: speakup@albioninthecommunity.org.uk.

The project is funded by Brighton and Hove City Council’s Public Health and NHS Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group.

Albion in the Community is the official charity of Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club.

A spokesman said: “We are committed to using the power of football and the brand of Brighton and Hove Albion to deliver high-quality, accessible opportunities that improve the health and wellbeing, education and aspirations of our community.

“As a charity, we rely on donations to fund much of our work. You can email fundraising@albioninthecommunity.org.uk