A NEW way of helping people stop smoking through their dentist rather than their GP is being launched in Worcester.

Northwick Manor Dental Practice in Northwick Road is the first in the country to offer the Phoenix Stop Smoking Programme.

Help with quitting smoking is usually offered through GPs, but the new scheme organised by the National Smoking Cessation Cooperative (NSCC) will instead be run through dentist practices.

The launch coincides with National No Smoking Day on Wednesday, March 12.

Owner Paul Elliott said he was pleased the practice had been chosen to launch the scheme.

"We have been telling our patients for years about the problems of smoking so I am delighted to be able to offer practical help at last," he said. "I am sure this is going to be a great success.”

NSCC operations director Robert Brynin said: "We know that dentists are very concerned about the effect of smoking on oral health and many dentists have told us they would like to do more to help their smoking patients, but this has been seen as the province of doctors until now."

For more information visit nationalstopsmokingcentres.org.uk