Region leads the nation in smoking cessation target

Great progress has been made in efforts to help people to stop smoking in Dumfries and Galloway – far exceeding national targets.

Help is available to quit cigarettes
Help is available to quit cigarettes

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, interim service Manager of Dumfries and Galloway smoking cessation service Quit Your Way, 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.

“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 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.

"A big thank you to all who refer into the service, who are undertaking this work in what I appreciate is a highly pressured time for them all.

“I want to pay the highest credit to all those involved in supporting this key health objective – smoking is the single greatest cause of preventable death, disability, ill-health and social inequality and there is argument 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 can call the Quit Your Way service on 0845 602 6861/07736 955 211 or email [email protected]