Taking action on smoking and health
Many individuals accessing money and debt advice services will be low income earners or from vulnerable groups experiencing poor mental health, unemployment or those experiencing health and economic inequalities. Almost half of adults who are permanently sick or disabled (48%) or unemployed and seeking work (46%) are current smokers.
The expertise within these settings provides an opportunity for:
Debt and money advice services can work collaboratively with stop smoking services to support an individual's desire to quit smoking to not only improve their health but to reduce debts, or increase their financial resilience. If the smoking rate in the 20% most deprived areas of Scotland fell just 1% (from 35% to 34%) Scotland's poorest communities would save 14.5 million a year.
Between 2014 and 2016 NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and ASH Scotland worked together on a pilot to evaluate the potential role that money advice services can play in raising the issue of smoking.
The pilot centred on providing tailored training on tobacco and smoking issues to money advice staff across five Health and Social Care Partnership areas in East Renfrewshire, South Glasgow, Glasgow East, North West Glasgow and Renfrewshire. Following the training evaluation we returned to interview staff, managers and clients to identify their perceptions of the change, the impact achieved and any barriers they encountered. A report was published.
Based on the recommendations from the report ASH Scotland developed a new innovative resource for money advice organisations so that they are able to positively engage with service users on smoking issues and the financial implications of smoking and make people more aware of the sources of support available to them should they wish to quit.
Through our 'Smoking and Money Advice Project' we are engaging with money advice organisations, poverty related groups, foodbanks and any community group who provide financial advice as part of the support they provide in Scotland to promote these materials. We hope that the organisations that trial these resources will be able to provide us with valuable feedback on whether more people enquired about quitting smoking when seeing the packs, whether they took active steps to quit as result of the promotion materials in order to save money and also alert us to any barriers that were encountered in engaging these inequalities groups.
To download the full report The role of stopping smoking in money advice - putting health and economic benefits together report and Executive Summary
Alternatively, you can download sections of the report most relevant
For more information:
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.