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Alloa Asda and NHS services highlight the benefits of quitting

Published: 7 Jan 2013 18:000 comments

CLACKMANNANSHIRE'S 9,762 smokers are being urged to make 2013 the year they quit for good - and to take advantage of the wide range of NHS services to help make it happen.

A new national campaign launched last week aims to make people aware of the support available and how to access it.

As part of this year's campaign, retailer Asda has teamed up with the Scottish Government to help their shoppers kick the habit for good.

A 20-a-day smoker spends on average £50 a week on cigarettes. To highlight this cost, the Scottish Government and Asda have produced an 'alternative' shopping list, showing that the money saved on breaking a 20-a-day habit could feed a family of four for a week.

The partnership will involve a Scottish Government community engagement team visiting the Asda pharmacy in Alloa and elsewhere around the country to inform and advise smokers who want to quit.

Customers will be able to take lung ageing and carbon monoxide tests and also pick up quit calendars to support them through their quit attempts.

A cost calculator will be available in participating pharmacies to show smokers how much they're spending on cigarettes.

Minister for Public Health, Michael Matheson, said, "By quitting smoking you can reduce the risk of a heart attack or coronary heart disease and as our new campaign shows it can also bring big savings when household budgets are tight.

"I would encourage anyone wanting to give up in 2013 to get the right support for them and make 2013 the year they quit for good - call Smokeline for free on 0800 848484 or chat online at www.canstopsmoking.com to speak to someone who knows all about quitting."

The community engagement roadshow will visit Asda on Whins Road in Alloa on Monday 28 January.

Meanwhile, NHS Forth Valley are also running initiatives to help smokers kick the habit in the New Year.

Dr AnneMaree Wallace, NHS Forth Valley's Director of Public Health, said, "Although the financial motivation is clear, smoking also leads to health complications such as lung cancer, heart disease and stroke which could have a devastating effect on family and loved ones.

"That's why we are encouraging people to make use of the local services and support available across Forth Valley to help people stop smoking for good."

NHS Forth Valley provides several free clinics for smoking cessation, where people are given continuous support and are four times more likely to stop than they would if they tried to quit on their own.

Details for these 'Stop Smoking Groups', which are led by specialist advisors groups, are as follows (appointments MUST be made in advance):

Clackmannanshire Health Centre - Every Tuesday 5.30pm-6.30pm, 01259 723725

Tillicoultry Health Centre - Every Tuesday 5.30pm-6.30pm, 01259 750531

There are also drop-in clinics available at various GP surgeries across the Forth Valley area which provides specialist support with free Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) where appropriate, free of charge.

Stop Smoking Clinics (Drop-in/No Appointment needed): Clacks Community Healthcare Centre Hallpark Road, Sauchie FK10 3JQ - Every Tuesday 5.30pm-7.30pm.

All Community Pharmacies/Chemists in Forth Valley also offer one-to-one stop smoking support for up to 12 weeks for those aged 12 years and over.

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