Christmas is fast approaching, and with everyone tightening their belts, NHS Grampian has launched a campaign to raise awareness of the support available to smokers to help them ‘stop and save’.
Derek Petrie, Tobacco Control Co-ordinator for NHS Grampian, said: “Christmas is a very expensive time, and we know that the cost of smoking cigarettes is often a huge burden for the poorest people in our community.
“We know lots of smokers would like to stop, but they don’t know where to get that vital offer of help.
“We have one of Scotland’s biggest and most effective network of pharmacies delivering smoking cessation services.
“When you think of quitting smoking, simply walk into your local pharmacy, and you will be taking a great first step to a smoke-free future.”
It is though that by cutting out 20 cigarettes a day, between now and Christmas Eve, a smoker could save more than £400. Cutting out 20 a day for a whole year could save over £2,500.
By joining the stop smoking scheme with their local community pharmacy, or a group of fellow stoppers with the Smoking Advice Service (NHS Grampian’s Smoking Advice Service is on 0500 600 332), smokers qualify for free NRT (products to aid people to stop smoking) and help and support to stay stopped.
All ages and stages of smoker are welcome to access this service, whether they smoke 60 a day, or just have a few smokes each week. Quitters who try to stop with help are four more likely to be successful.
Owner of Buchanhaven Pharmacy in Peterhead, Sam Melrose, said: “We have offered the service for many years and it has been a big success in the community, with over 100 people on the scheme at any one time.
“All of our members of staff are trained, meaning no appointment is necessary, and people wishing to find out more can come in at any time of the day. The first appointment takes about ten minutes, and then we can provide support to smokers for up to 12 weeks.
“Christmas is definitely a fabulous time to stop smoking.”