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Dog Helps People Quit Smoking

Cocker Spaniel Rupert helps coworkers kick the habit.

A Cocker Spaniel named Rupert has become a media darling in Britain ever since he began helping his “coworkers” to stop smoking.

Twelve smokers at Relay Recruitment in Bradford, England, have given up cigarettes by swapping smoke breaks for a 10-minute walk with Rupert.

“We’re delighted with the effect Rupert has had on staff health and morale,” said Relay Recruitment spokesman David Gatehouse in an interview with the Mirror. “We initially brought him in because we’d seen research that said that having a pet reduces stress and increases a feeling of well-being. We thought we’d bring in a dog so people could make a fuss over him and it would lift morale.”

Then someone suggested walking with Rupert instead of the time-honored smoke break. “The idea caught on,” Gatehouse said.

Managing director Steven Street owns Rupert, who has proven so popular that other members of the staff vie to take him home for the weekend.

Relay Recruitment plans to recruit a staff dog for its three other offices in England.

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