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Help to kick that habit

Aberdeenshire’s 38,900 smokers are being urged to make 2013 the year they quit for good - and to take advantage of the wide range of NHS services to help make it happen.

Giving up smoking is one of the most common New Year resolutions but people are more likely to succeed if they get help, rather than going it alone. A new national campaign launching today (2nd January) aims to make people aware of the support available and how to access it.

As part of this year’s campaign, leading retailer Asda has teamed up with the Scottish Government to help their shoppers kick the habit for good.

A 20-a-day smoker spends on average £50 a week on. To highlight this cost, the Scottish Government and Asda have produced an ‘alternative’ shopping list, showing that the money saved on breaking a 20-a-day habit could feed a family of four for a week.

The partnership will involve a Scottish Government community engagement team visiting seven Asda pharmacies in Scotland to inform and advise smokers who want to quit.

Customers will be able to take lung ageing and carbon monoxide tests and also pick up quit calendars to support them through their quit attempts. A cost calculator will be available in participating pharmacies to show smokers how much they’re spending on cigarettes. The partnership will highlight the support available to help customers stop smoking through both Asda pharmacies and through Smokeline.

Minister for Public Health, Michael Matheson, said: “Quitting smoking is the one of the best things someone can do to improve their health and for those who are considering quitting the New Year is a perfect time to do so.

“By quitting you can reduce the risk of a heart attack or coronary heart disease and as our new campaign shows it can also bring big savings when household budgets are tight.

“We know that people are more likely to succeed if they get support - and there is a huge range of support available in Scotland, from face-to-face or online to nicotine replacement therapy and group sessions. Smokeline can offer support and advice on all of these and ensure they find the right quitting method to suit their lifestyle.

“I would encourage anyone wanting to give up in 2013 to get the right support for them and make 2013 the year they quit for good - Call Smokeline for free on 0800 848484 or chat online at www.canstopsmoking.com to speak to someone who knows all about quitting.”

NHS 24 Head of Health Information Services Lynne Huckerby, who operates the Smokeline service, said: “Whether you’re a smoker making your first attempt to quit smoking or a recent quitter simply looking for some support, Smokeline’s advisers can offer a wide range of support and advice to suit your circumstances. Our advisors are trained to find the quit method that’s right for each caller, and we will offer tailored advice to make sure that we give those callers the best chance of successfully kicking the habit.”

Polly Jones, Scottish Corporate Affairs Manager for Asda said: “Asda is pleased to be working with the Scottish Government to help people find the support they need to give up smoking. Quitting smoking is good for your health and good for your pocket, and we hope that offering advice and information services in-store will make it easy for our customers and colleagues to access the help they need to quit smoking for good.”

In addition to visiting the seven Asda pharmacies, the Scottish Government community engagement team will also be visiting 27 other locations across Scotland to inform and advise smokers who want to quit. Visitors will be able to take lung ageing and carbon monoxide tests and also pick up quit calendars to support them through their quit attempts.

 

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