SMOKERS looking to tackle their addiction are being encouraged to team up with Albion’s official charity.

Albion In The Community is offering smokers in Brighton and Hove free support to help them quit, with new regular group sessions launching across the city, including three in Whitehawk and two in Moulsecoomb.

The smoking cessation project is funded by Brighton and Hove City Council’s public health team and NHS Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group.

It uses a mix of one-to-one drop-ins and group sessions, with AITC also offering support in terms of food, nutrition and physical activity.

Anyone signing up will also be eligible to receive nicotine replacement therapies.

A pilot group ran at the end of 2018, with the majority of participants successfully quitting.

Jane Hau is an example of the impact AITC’s support can have.

She had been smoking ten to 20 cigarettes a day for almost 30 years.

Such was the hold her addiction had on her, she once sneaked out of a hospital bed, still wearing her

medical robes, to get a taxi to take her home and fetch her cigarettes.

Her habit was also costing her the best part of £4,000 a year.

However, all that changed when she noticed an advert for a smoking cessation group being run by AITC.

Jane, who lives in Brighton, was on AITC’s website booking a football session for her son when saw the advert and decided to send the charity’s health team an email.

AITC phoned her within ten minutes of the email being sent and within an hour she was attending her first group session in Hangleton.

Just three sessions later, Jane had stopped smoking and she has now been smoke free since November.

She said the positive support she found at the group – both from AITC’s team and the other members – was key to helping her quit.