Today is No Smoking Day and I was pleased to join Alan Dalziel, Senior Policy Manager, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Scotland outside the Scottish Parliament to back their ‘Quit and Win’ campaign.
The dangers of smoking and the benefits of quitting are increasingly well known, but on No Smoking Day it is worth remembering that by stopping smoking you can:
• Cut the risk of developing a multitude of cancers by half
• Save thousands of pounds - £3,000 per year on average, per smoker
• Help prevent the discarding of 3.65 billion plastic filled cigarette stubs in Scotland each year
• Improve mental health and reduce anxiety levels
• Lower your risk of developing dementia, which is 64% greater in people who smoke
• Decrease the likelihood of a heart attack by half within a year
• Reduce the risk of impotence and sexual dysfunction
Since I was first elected to Holyrood in 1999 I have advocated for measures to reduce smoking – setting up the Scottish Parliament’s Cross Party Group on Tobacco Control and consulting on my Regulation of Smoking Bill, which ultimately evolved into the Smoking, Health, and Social Care (Scotland) Act 2005. This resulted in the March 2006 ‘Smoking Ban’ in enclosed public spaces.
There is still a long way to go and I am proud that Scotland is one of the few countries in the world that has set a goal of creating a tobacco-free generation by 2034 - meaning that less than 5% of adults will smoke.
If you want support to help quit smoking, you can find out more by visiting