Smoking cessation: help is at hand

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BREAK the habit and you could boost your health and your bank balance – that’s the message from the Scottish government.

The latest campaign from Holyrood is an ongoing drive to encourage even more people to quit smoking for 2013.

Smokers lose an average 10 years of their life because of their habit, and face greater risk of life-threatening diseases like lung cancer, chronic illnesses, as well as increased susceptibility to minor ailments such as colds.

Smoking also had an effect on family and friends. A non-smoker who lives with a smoker can be exposed to one per cent of their tobacco – increasing their risk of lung cancer and heart attacks too.

Studies show that smoke particles in the air are smaller and easier to inhale deeply than directly from a cigarette – and the effects are particularly bad on children.

Then there are monetary concerns: because if you smoke an average 20 a day, it equates to 7,300 cigarettes a year, which is at least £1,500, even when using cheaper brands.

Health insurance premiums can also be affected if you’re a regular smoker – so cutting back could mean more cash to splash.

The good news is that, if it’s the right time for you to quit, then help is at hand.

Both Glasgow and East Renfrewshire community health partnerships (CHP) offer cessation services which encourage smokers to break the habit in their own time, and their own way.

In 2011, 17,959 Glasgow adults signed up, with 1,151 East Renfrewshire residents following suit.

East Renfrewshire council’s health and social work convener, councillor Alan Lafferty, commented: “Smoking does an enormous amount of damage to people’s health and the health of people around them, and this is a great opportunity for anyone who has been thinking about quitting smoking to take their first step towards that goal”.

Whether it’s calling into your local pharmacy, phoning the national stop smoking helpline or looking up NHS services, now may just be the right time to kick the habit – and look forward to a healthier, happy you.

Glasgow residents interested in smoking cessation services can find out more on 201 4890 – the number for East Ren residents is 577 4804.

Further information is also available from Smokeline – call free on 0800 84 84 84 or visit