Posted: Wed 10th Feb 2016

“Winners do quit” – Olympic track star tells smokers in Maesteg /
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Feb 10th, 2016

It’s not often you hear an Olympic athlete 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 set 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. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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

Christian, 36, said: “Growing up I was surrounded by smokers amongst 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. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Stop Smoking Wales supports quitters in Wales through dedicated group and 1-2-1 face to face sessions, telephone support and its innovative online tool at ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Research has shown smokers are four times more likely to quit with a support programme like Stop Smoking Wales than going it alone, and the service has a strong track record of successfully helping smokers to kick the habit. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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

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