2011 - your year to quit smoking

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NEW YEAR is the time when lots of Scots resolve to adopt healthier lifestyles.

A common resolution is to quit smoking as just over a quarter of all adults in Scotland still smoke.

Research shows that more than half of adult smokers in Scotland want to quit, and around 22 per cent are keen to do so within the next six months.

Results show that these efforts are already making an impact.

There were nearly 70,000 quit attempts made or quit dates set in 2009 with the support of NHS services, an increase of 35 per cent on the previous year.

But these attempts need to increase if Scotland is to continue reducing the prevalence of smoking amongst its adult population.

As smoking is a major, and yet the most preventable, cause of ill-health and premature death in Scotland, the Scottish Government has placed much emphasis in recent years on tackling the issue.

If you are one of these smokers looking to quit but don’t really know how to go about it, call Smokeline for free on 0800 848484.

Trained advisers are on hand to help find the quitting method that’s right for you.

Even if you’ve tried to quit before, there are many ways to help you stop smoking and a way to suit every lifestyle. This could include local stop smoking sessions, one to one support, products such as patches and gum, local pharmacy support and the www.canstopsmoking.com <http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Economy/GDP/research> support website.

Public Health Minister Shona Robison said: “Giving up smoking is the biggest single thing anyone can do to improve their health but you’re more likely to succeed if you get help, rather than relying on willpower alone.

“There’s a huge range of support available - from face-to-face or online to nicotine replacement therapy and group classes - and Smokeline can help you find the quit method that’s right for you.”

If you’re ready to quit smoking, call Smokeline free on 0800 848484 to find the best quitting method that’s right for you.

Sarah Griffin (60) from Dundee, smoked 10 cigarettes a day for 47 years. Married, with five boys, she was the only smoker in the family. After trying to quit a few times over the years, Sarah’s daughter-in-law suggested that she tried the local stop smoking service to help her to kick the habit for good.

She went along to a stop smoking class at her local community centre and at her first meeting, she set a date for her last cigarette – March 21, 2010.

She said: “I’d never been along to a stop smoking session before, so wasn’t sure what to expect, but the class leader, Karen, was very welcoming. It was great to meet people who were all in the same boat and everyone was very friendly and supportive.”

Sarah also used nicotine patches, which she called her ‘buddy’. “When the cravings got bad, my ‘buddy’ went on. I was prescribed the patches for 12 weeks, but I only needed to use them for eight weeks in the end.”

“It’s not been easy, especially when you’re around other people who are smoking, but the support I’ve received this time has really helped me.”

And the physical benefits of giving up smoking are really starting to show.

“I’ve started walking more and I don’t get out of puff as much as I used to. I’ve also noticed that my eczema is not as bad as it used to be and I’m feeling a lot more relaxed. I don’t smell of smoke all the time too, so am feeling a lot better. The other thing I’ve noticed is that food tastes so much better!”

Sarah has not had a cigarette for over nine months (on December 22) and is now very feeling very positive about a smokefree future.

“The last nine months without smoking are a big achievement for me and I’ve got a really positive attitude towards life. The best tips I could give others trying to stop are to find someone to talk to or get out and go for a walk when you get cravings. Walking has really helped me – I’m even joining a walking group in my area.”

She now wants to use her experience to help others and is keen to start her own stop smoking class, so she can help them to achieve their goals.