‘Record number of Scottish tried to quit smoking’

Zeenews Bureau

Edinburgh: Trying to give up the ill-habit of smoking and live a healthy life, a record number of people attempted to quit and remain smoke free in Scotland last year, according to official figures.

The Scottish government said that about one in 10 looked for help from the NHS smoking cessation services.

Among those who attempted to quit smoking included pregnant women and older people, with the largest number of group coming from “deprived” areas.

NHS statistics show that the number of quit attempts went up by 29% from 83,952 to 108,268 in 2010. Quit rates had fallen to just 15% after three months. Based on 2010 figures, the number still quitting after one year dropped to 6%.

Public Health Minister Michael Matheson said: "2011 saw the largest ever increase in Scots trying to stop smoking, which is the biggest single step anyone can take to improve their health.

"I welcome that one in 10 smokers - over 100,000 Scots - took advantage of NHS Scotland stop smoking services last year, with the largest number from our most-deprived areas. It is also encouraging to see the number of pregnant women trying to quit increasing by nearly 50%.

"We know that most smokers want to quit and enjoy the many health, social and economic benefits of being a non-smoker. Last year, a record 40,000 people were smoke free after one month."

Vicky Crichton, Cancer Research UK`s policy manager in Scotland, said: "Smoking is the single biggest preventable cause of cancer and kills many thousands of people every year. Tobacco is highly addictive and kills half of its long-term users.

"We know that giving up can be tough but smokers are four times more likely to quit successfully with support from NHS stop smoking services. These new figures show that people are making use of the services available but more can always be done. The Scottish Government should continue campaigns to help people quit or stop them from starting."

Young people must be prevented from being lured into smoking in the first place, she added.

With Agency inputs

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