Dragons' Den star Duncan Bannatyne helped to launch a new social network today aimed at helping people to quit smoking.
Quit Support is an online community where people trying to quit can blog about their experiences, take part in polls and ask experts questions about how to quit smoking.
The site is a joint project between the charity, The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation and web company HealthUnlocked.
Duncan said: “My views on smoking are well documented so I am very supportive of new, innovative ways to help people quit.
“If you ask most smokers they will tell you they want to quit but trying to do it through sheer will power is tough and many people don’t want to ask for help or are simply too busy.
“The development of the social media site Quit Support gives people quick, easily accessible information and instant support from other smokers and experts.
“Stopping smoking isn’t easy but this site really can help.”
Eileen Streets, director of tobacco control at the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, said: “There are already plenty of online forums for people trying to quit smoking but Quit Support is truly unique.
“People not only support each other through their attempts to quit but they also get access to our team of qualified stop smoking experts. We’ve been supporting people to stop smoking for almost 20 years and many of our advisers have been smokers themselves so they speak from experience.
“The statistics show that people are five times more likely to quit with support than if they try to go cold turkey themselves but people have busy lives and we are conscious that not everyone has the time, or the inclination, to attend a support group or clinic.
“This site is for those people.”
Dr Matt Jameson Evans, Medical Director and Chairman of HealthUnlocked, said: “This initiative enables people to share the stress of quitting with like-minded people. We know from a recent survey of almost a thousand members that 82% of our network say they are better able to manage their health since joining. Smoking often starts with peer pressure. Stopping can too."