More Dundonians want to be in a smoke-free environment, a leading consultant has claimed.
The annual No Smoking Day took place yesterday and raises awareness of how people can boost their chances of stubbing out cigarettes.
Consultant in Public Health Pharmacy at NHS Tayside, Andrew Radley, said more people are becoming aware of the damaging effect of smoking.
He said: “Most people are very aware that smoking is bad for their health and often they need a little bit of extra support and persuasion to see that not smoking should be a choice for them.
“Already in Tayside most people don’t smoke – only about one in six of the people in Dundee smoke so lots have already made the decision to quit.
“Every community pharmacy in Tayside offers a no smoking service and the advice offered is free and they will provide you with either patches or a medicine called Champix that will help make giving up smoking a lot easier.”
Michelle Robertson, who is in her 40s, had been smoking since she was 16 and received support from Lloyds pharmacy in Lochee to quit after wanting to give up for health benefits.
She said: “I just came in one day to the pharmacy and said I was looking for some help to give up smoking.
“I decided to give up for my health and because I was spending too much money.
“I’ve already saved £350 since quitting which I am planning to go on holiday with.”
Andrew added that the health board is seeing a trend in people asking for public places in the city to go smoke-free.
He said: “If we get comments given to us at the health board, it’s always that we’d rather not be exposed to second-hand smoke.
“Children and young families have said they don’t really need to see the image of people smoking while they’re out at the weekend, so we’d be interested to see if others feel the same way.”
Despite the positive steps being taken to reduce the amount of people who smoke, it remains a problem across the region.
Dundee youth charity The Corner has revealed it has supported children as young as 11 to stop smoking.
Chief executive of anti- smoking charity ASH Scotland, Sheila Duffy, said: “No Smoking Day can be a helpful time to quit, along with many other smokers – let the people around you know that you’ve chosen to stop smoking and ask them to support and encourage you.”
Earlier this month NHS Tayside sent out an anti-smoking message by putting in a new loud speaker system at the entrance to Ninewells to promote its no smoking policy.
The announcements were voiced by three children who have all been treated in the children’s hospital, and the messages are blasted out through the system when a blue button is pressed.
NHS Tayside’s Quit Your Way provides smoking cessation services and information about support available to NHS staff, patients and members of the public.
Help is also given to patients who are smokers
Anyone who wants to stop smoking can visit a community pharmacy or call Quit Your Way on 01382 424127.