PUBLIC Health Dorset is encouraging people who would like to stop smoking, to think carefully about their reasons for wanting to quit, and make a pledge to take action in 2015.

Year-on-year thousands of people attempt to quit smoking during the months of January and February. Evidence shows that people who make a pledge and receive support are more likely to be successful.

Every smoker has their own reasons for wanting to quit, with family, money and health all being strong motivating factors.

The campaign, called Make Tobacco History, seeks to inspire people by telling the stories of other local people who have either quit smoking or who will be attempting to quit during January.

These are stories about the struggles that people have had, how they’ve overcome them and how much better life can be after smoking.

More than 570,000 people, or 195 individuals every day, have died in England in the last eight years from a smoking related condition. Now, in conjunction with the launch of the health campaign to reduce smoking, the Dorset Echo is publishing a series of stories on the campaign and the Dorset residents that are part of it.

A WEYMOUTH man has lost six stone and embarked on a new life after deciding to quit smoking.

Chris Emblen, 49, said he did not want to smoke for a long time, but found it difficult to stop.

He finally found inspiration in a friend’s mission to quit smoking, and said of his transformation: “Life is different now and so much better. I was a 20 stone, 20-a-day smoker who struggled to get out of bed in the morning.”

Describing the struggle to quit, Mr Emblen said: “I think I was afraid of not smoking. I believed the stories of how bad being an ex-smoker is.

“I tried to stop about three or four times but never (did it) properly or by getting some support. I just tried to cut down.”

“It wasn’t until my best friend who had smoked for a long time, gave up and showed me the way.

“He gave me the inspiration to quit.”

Now smoke-free for seven years, Chris is hoping to inspire others to make that step by being involved in Public Health Dorset’s Make Tobacco History campaign.

Part of the campaign highlights the importance of knowing that no-one is alone in quitting smoking.

Mr Emblen said: “There’s a lot of people out there that have gone through the same thing. No matter what your challenge is, someone else has found a way through that and you’ll find that no challenge is insurmountable.”

He added: “I used to wheeze when I walked, but now life is a million times better.”

“I cycle around this beautiful county we live in, I play football with friends, I get to keep fit with some wonderful, inspirational people – and just do joyous things that I never could have done as a smoker.”

The Make Tobacco History campaign runs throughout January and encourages people wanting to quit smoking to take the next step and make a pledge online.

For more information, support, or to declare your reason to quit smoking, visit or follow #maketobaccohistory on social media.