Taking action on smoking and health
ASH Scotland is urging people across Scotland to consider making an individually tailored plan on national No Smoking Day today (Wednesday 9th March 2022) to give up smoking to improve both mental and physical health. The health charity’s call, which is backed by the Scottish Government, is encouraging people to ‘Quit Your Way’ in ways which work best for individual circumstances by seeking person-centred support from local cessation services, community pharmacies or the national stop-smoking service Quit Your Way Scotland run by NHS 24.
Although the smoking rate in Scotland has dropped from 28% in 2003 to 17% in 2019, more progress is required if the Scottish Government’s ambitious target of reducing the rate to five per cent or less by 2034 is to be met.
Sheila Duffy, Chief Executive of ASH Scotland, said: “Smoking tobacco is the biggest cause of preventable ill-health and early death in Scotland with an estimated 100,000 hospitalisations and 9,000 deaths each year. “Nicotine is highly addictive and, although it can take a number of attempts to quit, some people find giving up cigarettes or tobacco easier than they had thought. For others, it takes a number of attempts, and it is worth trying again. Quitting smoking can improve your mental health and, within a year of stopping, the risk of coronary heart disease reduces by half compared to someone who smokes. “Quit Your Way Scotland, local stop smoking services and community pharmacies provide free support which can help you to develop a personalised plan and, on No Smoking Day, we are encouraging people to begin taking vital steps towards a much healthier future by stopping smoking for good.”
Public Health Minister, Maree Todd, said: “Stopping smoking at any time is one of the best things you can do to improve your health. Smoking rates have continued to fall over recent years but still 17% of Scottish adults use tobacco products.
“Our determination to prevent the uptake of smoking among young people is matched by our commitment to provide the best possible support for current smokers to give up. We continue our work to protect everyone, especially children and non-smokers, from the harm caused by second-hand smoke.
“We also recognise the impact of smoking in causing and exacerbating respiratory diseases such as COPD and asthma. Our Respiratory Care Action Plan sets out our vision for driving improvement in the prevention, diagnosis, care, treatment and support of people living with respiratory conditions, and the importance of prevention strategies in preventing respiratory disease.”
Anyone in Scotland who has the goal of giving up smoking can contact a Quit Your Way adviser by calling the free helpline on 0800 848484 or create a quit plan at www.quityourway.scot.
For media enquiries:
ASH Scotland, email@example.com
Notes for editors:
Action on Smoking & Health (Scotland) (ASH Scotland) is a registered Scottish charity (SC 010412) and a company limited by guarantee(Scottish company no 141711). The registered office is 8 Frederick Street, Edinburgh EH2 2HB.
ASH Scotland acknowledges with thanks the support of the British Heart Foundation and the Scottish Government in developing our website.