Taking action on smoking and health
Longer lifespan – Smoking accounts for 9,000 deaths in Scotland each year. It is the country’s leading cause of preventable death.
Improved lung health – Quitting smoking can cut the risk of lung cancer by half after 10 years of being smoke-free.
Decreased risk of coronary heart disease – The chemicals inhaled from cigarette smoke can damage the lining of coronary arteries, putting strain on the heart. The smoking ban in Scotland has contributed to a 74% reduction in heart attacks amongst the population.
Reduced dementia risk – In comparison to the risk of developing dementia facing non-smokers, the risk is up to 64% greater for people who smoke between 20 and 40 cigarettes a day. Studies have shown that 10 years following cessation, dementia risk is similar to never smokers.
Half the risk of some cancers – Risk of lung, mouth, throat, pancreas, bladder, oesophagus and larynx cancer is halved 5-10 years after quitting smoking.
Lower chance of miscarriage – Quitting smoking reduces the chances of miscarriage by a third and halves the risk of a baby being born with low birth weight.
Diminished risk of Type 2 diabetes – People who smoke have a 30-40% greater chance of developing Type 2 diabetes than those who don’t smoke.
Better mental health – The positive effect quitting smoking has on a person’s mental health can be equal to, or larger, than anti-depression treatment.
Save around £3,000 a year – New ASH Scotland research figures estimate that in 2023 an average household in Scotland of people smoking would save £3,308 within a year of giving up tobacco.
Reduced anxiety – People with mental health issues who quit smoking see greater reductions in anxiety and improvements in positive feelings than those who continue to smoke.
Healthier teeth and gums – Quitting smoking reduces the likelihood of tooth loss and inflamed gums compared to people who smoke. Stopping smoking cuts the risk of developing oral cancer by a third.
Smaller risk of infection – Smoking compromises the immune system, leaving people who smoke at higher risk of infection. Not smoking on the day of surgery halves a person’s risk of infection.
Less plastic waste – Did you know cigarette filters contain plastic? By quitting smoking, people can help to reduce the estimated 3.65 billion cigarette stubs discarded in Scotland each year.
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.