GREAT progress has been made in efforts to help people to stop smoking in Dumfries and Galloway – far exceeding national targets.
At a time when more people may be looking to stop smoking as part of their New Year resolutions, new local figures show that a target agreed with the Scottish Government around smoking cessation has been exceeded by 153 per cent.
Abbie Robertson is Interim Service Manager of Dumfries and Galloway smoking cessation service Quit Your Way, and she said: “We’re absolutely delighted with the progress that we’ve seen around supporting people to quit smoking in areas where health and social inequality is felt most.
“One of our targets locally is to help people who refer themselves as quitters, to still not be smoking 12 weeks after they have quit. Only those people who live in deprived areas as defined as the 40 per cent most derived NHS Board areas are included in this count (60% in NHS Island Boards).
“In quarter four of 2020/21, a total of 246 people in Dumfries and Galloway living in areas of inequality who self-reported as quitters were still not smoking after 12 weeks – absolutely smashing the Scottish Government target of 161 people.
“Having achieved 153 per cent of this target, this made Dumfries and Galloway the best performing Board in this area – with only two other boards meeting 100 per cent of this target.”
The Local Delivery Plan (LPD) Standard is set and agreed by The Scottish Government and NHS Boards, to provide assurance around NHS Scotland performance.
Abbie said: “This is a target for which responsibility jointly sits between Quit Your Way and Community Pharmacies.
“I want to pay the highest credit to all those involved in supporting this key health objective – within the Quit Your Say as the specialist smoking cessation service but also the Community Pharmacy teams across our region, who are undertaking this work in what I appreciate is a highly pressured time for them all.
“A big thank you to all who refer into the service and in particular our fantastic midwife teams who work in partnership with us to make sure that all pregnant smokers or those exposed to second hand smoke are referred via our joint pathway for support.
“The Quit Your Way team know how hard they work and have continued to work throughout the pandemic.
“We have been very lucky to have continued with virtual smoking cessation support and we are grateful for this opportunity but the team have done an amazing job of spending time counselling people over the phone who would sometimes have had no one else.
“Smoking is the single greatest cause of preventable death, disability, ill-health and social inequality and there is argument that this was felt even more so during the pandemic.
“Treating tobacco addiction is one of the most cost-effective and life-saving interventions provided by the NHS and I am so proud of our small team for excelling in this.”
Anyone looking to stop smoking and who would benefit from support is invited to contact the Quit Your Way Service directly on 0845 602 6861/07736 955 211 [email protected] or simply follow us on our Facebook page which is manned daily.
Anyone looking to stop smoking can also ask any health or social are professional to refer them into the service.
LINK TO REPORT
In Scotland’s most deprived areas, 35 per cent of deaths were from smoking-related causes, compared to 8 per cent in least deprived areas.
There are nearly 100,000 smoking-related hospital admissions every year in Scotland. That is 1923 a week, 274 a day or 11 admissions an hour.
Stopping smoking is associated with improvements in depression, stress and anxiety.
It’s a common belief that smoking helps people to relax. What can feel like stress relief is usually relief from nicotine withdrawal. It sustains the addiction.
People are four times more likely to quit smoking if they use NHS support. www.quityourway.scot
Children who live in a smoking household are more prone to health problems. They are also more likely to become smokers themselves.
In Scotland, 36 children start smoking every day. That is 13,300 children each year