Over 100,000 people attempted to quit smoking 2011

Commenting on figures published today that show one in ten smokers sought support from NHS Scotland's smoking cessation service last year, Gil Paterson, SNP MSP for Clydebank and Milngavie and member of the Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee, said:

“More people turned to the NHS Scotland’s smoking cessation service last year than ever before.

“Over 100,000 Scottish smokers, with the largest number from our most deprived areas, decided that 2011 was the time for them to give up their deadly habit. This is an increase of 29 per cent on the 83,952 quit attempts during 2010.

“Tobacco is highly addictive and kills half of its long-term users, but we know that with support, smokers are far more likely to quit and, in doing so, will dramatically improve their health.

“And what is even more welcoming is that the number of pregnant smokers who sought the help of our smoking cessation service for support to quit increased by nearly 50%.

“These fantastic figures also show that a record 40,000 people were smoke-free after one month.

“Our smoking cessation service is there to help those who want to quit and enjoy the many health, social and economic benefits of being a non-smoker.”

Commenting on the other health statistics out today, Mr Paterson said:

“No-one should have to stay in hospital longer than is necessary and thanks to action taken by the Scottish Government fewer people are waiting in hospitals for more than four weeks.

“The figures demonstrate 108 patients were delayed over a month in comparison to 418 at April 2007. That is the lowest number since recording began in 2000, with the average wait now only 20 days compared to 49 in April 2007.

“Patients are also benefitting from shorter waiting times – with 91.5% treated within 18 weeks of referral.

“These statistics are a result of the hard work of NHS employees and the action taken by the Scottish Government to protect the quality of frontline services, despite Westminster’s savage public service cuts.

“The SNP is working tirelessly to protect our health service but there is no room for complacency and we will continue to make patient wellbeing and care our priority.”

The free Smokeline is on 0800 848484.