West Dunbartonshire MP Gemma Doyle is calling on NHS Scotland to do more to help Clydebank smokers quit for good.
It follows the launch of a new report on tobacco control in the UK Parliament. The report – launched at an event in the House of Commons held by QUIT, the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation and drugs manufacturer Pfizer – found attempts and motivation to quit smoking are in decline.
Clydebank’s MP wants the NHS in Scotland to provide effective support services for every smoker looking to quit. Ms Doyle said: “We need to do more to help people quit smoking to improve people’s health and save NHS Scotland money. I’m calling on the health services to ensure everyone has the right support in place to help them quit first time round.”
A national target set for reducing smoking requires 210,000 people to quit every year until 2015. This means nearly 400 people successfully quitting every year in every parliamentary constituency in the UK.
The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation is the only UK-wide charity dedicated solely to the defeat of lung cancer. It funds scientific research, tobacco control initiatives and work in lung cancer patient information, support and advocacy.
Eileen Streets, director of tobacco control at the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, commented: “If we want to reduce the death toll from smoking we need to do two things: stop people from starting, and help them to stop. Different people need different kinds of support, so it’s essential NHS boards put in place comprehensive smoking cessation services, offering the full range of tools and treatments to help people quit for good.”
Glyn McIntosh, the chief executive of QUIT, added: “Quitting smoking is the single most important thing a smoker can do for their health. Using willpower alone only has a three per cent success rate; smokers who use the right treatment to help them stop increase their chances of quitting by four times.
“QUIT urges every NHS Board to evaluate if they are investing enough money in smoking cessation services. Helping people quit smoking saves money by reducing the burden of smoking-related diseases on the health services and crucially, saves lives.”
If you are thinking of quitting smoking and would like more information or help, visit the NHS Greater Glasgow Smokefree website or call 0800 84 84 84.