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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 December 2007, 07:34 GMT
NHS targets 'worst smoking area'
Cigarette
The health board wants to encourage more smokers to give up
Health chiefs in the area with the highest smoking rate in Scotland have launched a new service to help people quit the habit.

About 30% of the population in the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde area are smokers.

NHS chiefs want to target the estimated 280,000 smokers living within the health board's boundaries.

It has brought together all its stop smoking services in a bid to make it easier for people to get help.

The new Smokefree services programme will include services to help mothers-to-be quit, youth services that aim to prevent children from taking up the habit, and community services including support groups and nicotine replacement therapy.

'Top priorities'

Pharmacies will also offer support for smokers as part of the Smokefree pharmacy services, and help is available for hospital patients who smoke.

Liz Grant, one of the two co-ordinators of Smokefree Services, said the plan was to provide "one single, easy to use source of help for smokers" who want to give up.

She added: "By bringing together all services under this new banner of Smokefree Services, we hope that it will be much simpler to access help.

"It's obviously not easy to give up cigarettes and knowing where to get help is half the battle."

Smoking rates in the health board area range from 18.6% in East Dunbartonshire to 52% in Barlanark and Easterhouse.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde director of public health Dr Linda de Caestecker said cutting smoking levels was one of the board's top priorities.

She added: "About 29% of deaths at all ages are attributable to smoking and here in Greater Glasgow and Clyde we have more smokers than the Scottish average.

"It's absolutely vital, therefore, that we make it as easy as possible for people to give up. Smokefree Services is all about making sure that, whoever you are, whatever your age or gender or where you live, you can get all the help you need."



SEE ALSO
Enforcers target hospital smokers
12 Dec 07 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Cash to boost smoking help groups
11 Dec 07 |  Scotland
Smoking ban signalled in Grampian
05 Dec 07 |  North East/N Isles
Experts discuss smoke-free homes
31 Oct 07 |  Tayside and Central
Legal smoking age to rise to 18
13 Sep 07 |  Scotland
Scots smoke ban 'improved health'
10 Sep 07 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife

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