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GLASGOW SMOKERS GIVE CIGARETTES THE ELBOW

April 08, 2003 4:20 PM

SMOKERS in Glasgow are making their city proud as they stub out cigarettes once and for all.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>

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Encouraged by NHS Greater Glasgow's massive stop smoking campaign, residents are signing up in droves to the area's smoking cessation groups or going to local pharmacists for help to quit.<o:p></o:p>

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And there's no excuse for the rest of the city's puffers not to give up! For NHS Greater Glasgow is advertising its stop smoking helpline number on a massive banner hanging at the corner of George Square.<o:p></o:p>

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Principal Health Promotion Officer, Agnes McGowan, who fronts the successful new helpline, said: "In short, things are going brilliantly for our campaign in Greater Glasgow. More and more smokers are coming to us for help in giving up.<o:p></o:p>

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"Smoking cessation teams across Glasgow have been inundated with calls for help. As a result we decided to set up our own helpline offering smokers advice on where to go for help, as well as dealing with requests for stop smoking packs."<o:p></o:p>

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With smoking being the biggest cause of premature death in the city, and smoking related illnesses costing the NHS an estimated £14.4 million annually, now is the time to put nicotine in the out tray.<o:p></o:p>

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As the ongoing campaign grows, pharmacies and smoking cessation groups in NHS Greater Glasgow, offering sound advice and useful therapies, have been powerful magnets for those who want to quit.<o:p></o:p>

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In fact, there is currently a waiting list of more than 70 people who are keen to join the support groups and kick the habit.<o:p></o:p>

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Agnes McGowan added: "Although it's trained staff who run the cessation groups, peer support is also a key part of this. Those who attend can offer sound advice, strong moral support and valuable tips to their fellow quitters."<o:p></o:p>

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Pharmacist Facilitator Liz Grant explained: "Last year 1000 people in Glasgow took part in our anti smoking programme at local chemists. That involved handing out everything from medical advice to nicotine replacement patches and nasal sprays.<o:p></o:p>

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"Six months after people finished their visits, we would check their progress and we found that 60% hadn't looked back.<o:p></o:p>

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"It was because of this that we decided to roll out the campaign and add more participating pharmacies to the list, while creating the new freephone line.<o:p></o:p>

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"People are now going straight to their chemist for help rather than going through their GP, and the numbers are rising every month." <o:p></o:p>

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For more information on stopping smoking, call Smoking Concerns on 0141 201 9825 or the new freephone support line on 08000 150 122.<o:p></o:p>

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ENDS<o:p></o:p>

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