Scotland - cigarette smoking quit attempts increase by 35%

May 27, 2010 - More Scots are seeking help to try to give up smoking, according to new NHS statistics. (NHS Smoking Cessation Service Statistics (Scotland) 1st January to 31st December 2009, NHS - Statistical Publication Notice, 5/25/2010)

The number of attempts to quit totalled 69,882 in 2009, an increase of 35% compared to the previous year. About 38% managed to stop for a month and 15% for three months.

Public Health Minister Shona Robison said there had been a "significant increase" in the number of people using NHS services to quit.

The figures, which cover January to December last year, show 59% of quit attempts were made by women and 41% by men. Smokers aged between 45-59 were the most likely to be trying to give up the habit, accounting for 30% of quit attempts. But the figure was lowest in the under-25 age group, at just 9%.

An estimated 6.5% of the smoking population made a quit attempt with an NHS smoking cessation service, compared to 4.8% in 2008. However data from previous years showed that only about 7% of people managed to give up for 12 months or more.

Ms Robison said the NHS invested about £11m (16m USD) every year in providing a range of smoking cessation services.

She added that new legislation will also ban the display of cigarettes in shops and sales from vending machines. (Scotland - parliament votes to ban retail cigarette displays and vending machines..)

"We're continuing to do all we can to make cigarettes less attractive and less available and, in particular, stopping children from starting to smoke in the first place," she said.

Reference: Number of attempts by Scots to quit smoking increases, BBC News, 5/25/2010.

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