Page last updated at 17:35 GMT, Saturday, 21 June 2008 18:35 UK

Smokers offered money to give up

Cigarettes on a shop shelf
The money cannot be used to buy cigarettes or alcohol

Smokers in the poorest areas of Dundee are being offered 150 worth of groceries by the health service if they are able to give up cigarettes.

Participants in a 12-week scheme will be given 12.50 a week by NHS Tayside if a carbon monoxide breath test proves they have not been smoking.

The money will be credited onto an electronic card which cannot be used for cigarettes or alcohol.

There are 36,000 smokers in Dundee, about half of whom live in poverty.

The scheme is similar to a project used by the trust to encourage pregnant women to give up smoking.

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The scheme's founder Andrew Radley explains how he would like it to work

Sandy Watson, chairman of the health board, said: "Last year the Scottish Government challenged NHS Tayside to address smoking in disadvantaged areas. This project seeks to deliver on that and if successful could be replicated nationally.

"Smoking in Dundee is a difficult problem to tackle but we are hopeful that this innovative approach will encourage smokers to stop smoking for good and therefore make a real difference to their long-term health."

HAVE YOUR SAY
How sick have we become? We don't need BRIBES to give up smoking!
Jenni Dodson, Sheerwater, Woking

The convener of Dundee City Council's social work and health committee, Helen Wright, added: "A lot of good work has already been done by the city council and NHS Tayside with expectant mothers which has shown that providing incentives to smokers to help them quit is a tactic that can work."

Andrew Radley, consultant in public health and the founder of the scheme, added: "We are excited to be launching a health improvement scheme that will engage with the disadvantaged communities in Dundee and potentially make a real difference to their long-term health.

"Giving up smoking is the single most important lifestyle decision that anyone can make to improve their health immediately."


SEE ALSO
School affects smoking in young
19 Jun 08 |  Scotland
Cigarette ban proposals welcomed
25 May 08 |  Scotland
Pregnant women get smoking advice
27 Feb 08 |  Tayside and Central
Legal smoking age to rise to 18
13 Sep 07 |  Scotland

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