Smokers urged to quit on national No Smoking Day

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NHS Tayside Smoke Free Services are encouraging people to quit this No Smoking Day (Wednesday).

Staff are holding awareness events across Tayside to highlight No Smoking Day in a bid to help people seek support to give up smoking. The teams will be on hand to provide expert advice and information about quitting smoking and the support available across Tayside.

An information event will be held within the Wallacetown Health Centre in Dundee between 9.30am and 1pm and awareness events are being held in Aviva and Scottish and Southern Energy in Perth & Kinross, targeting two of the largest employers in the area.

A No Smoking Day awareness day stand will also be on offer in the main concourse of Ninewells Hospital promoting the support available to patients during their time in hospital. Further advice on what support is available to stop smoking for visitors and staff will also be available.

Alice Burns, hospital smoking cessation co-ordinator, is keen to encourage smokers to give up cigarettes during their stay in hospital.

She said: “Stopping smoking can help patients recover faster. We provide support to patients who smoke and they are offered free Nicotine Replacement products while in our care.

“Our outpatient and pre assessment clinics offer brief advice directing smokers to contact their local pharmacies for stop smoking support. For those smokers preparing to come into hospital, our pre assessments teams provide ‘Stop Before Your Op’ information and a carbon monoxide test.

“The good news is that stopping smoking for just two days reduces the amount of carbon monoxide to that of a non smoker. This improved circulation and increased oxygen supply aids treatments and improves patient recovery.”

NHS Tayside’s no smoking policy covers all NHS Tayside premises and grounds. It aims to contribute to the improvement of the health of the population of Tayside.

The smoke free status in the grounds of every hospital, health centre and NHS building across the country is part of a national drive to create a tobacco-free generation within Scotland by 2034.

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

Anyone who wants to stop smoking can visit any local community pharmacy or call NHS Tayside Smoke Free Services on 0845 600 999 6 to find out about all the ways in which NHS Tayside can help support people to become smoke free.

Anyone wishing to find out more about the free ‘Quit Smoking in 12 weeks’ programme which offers support and free products can also follow our Facebook page at

Health benefits to quitting smoking:

- 20 minutes after quitting your blood pressure and pulse return to normal

- 48 hours - no nicotine is left in your body. Your senses of taste and smell are greatly improved

- 72 hours - your breathing becomes easier and your energy levels increase

- 2-12 weeks after quitting smoking your circulation improves and exercise can be easier

- 3-9 months - any coughs, wheezing and breathing problems improve

- Within one year the risk of heart attack is halved

- Within 10 years the risk of lung cancer is halved and the risk of heart attack is at the same level as non-smokers

Medium to long term – stopping smoking at any age increases your life expectancy, provided you stop before the onset of serious disease. Even if you have developed a disease, you can benefit from stopping as your body will be under less strain and be able to fight it more easily.

Smoking causes the premature deaths of 13,000 people in Scotland every year and causes 56,000 hospital admissions. It is the single largest preventable cause of ill health and mortality. ‘Second-hand’ smoke or passive smoking is a significant health risk to non-smokers. Passive smoking is calculated to cause:

- Nearly 1 in 10 of all deaths due to stroke.

- Nearly 1 in 20 of all deaths due to asthma

- More than 1 in 30 of all deaths due to heart disease

- More than 1 in 25 of all lung cancers