You could save up to £560 before Christmas.

That is the message from NHS Borders and Scottish Borders Council (SBC) Joint Health Improvement Team as they encourage smokers to stop smoking in the lead up to Christmas by using NHS Borders Quit4Good service.

A typical smoker smoking 20 cigarettes a day can save up to £280 per month, based on the average price of a packet of cigarettes, so by stopping 2 months before Christmas, a smoker can save up to £560.

Quit4Good service is free and available to anyone living in the Borders area. The service offers a combination of specialist support from stop smoking advisors and stop smoking products such as nicotine replacement therapy (NRT).

A recent service user, Jennifer from Innerleithen, who successfully quit smoking said:  “The service is about having someone there who understands how hard it is to quit; but who wanted me to quit just as much as I did and was always there for a wee chat and support.”

Tim Patterson, NHS Borders and SBC Joint Director of Public Health said:  “Stopping smoking is the single biggest change a smoker can make to improve their health.  We know how difficult it can be for people trying to quit and we understand that everyone needs different kinds of support, so Quit4Good offers a range of options to suit the individual throughout the various stages of the stop smoking process.”

Alison Wilson, NHS Borders Director of Pharmacy said: “Your local pharmacy is one of the places you can access advice and support. The Pharmacist will be happy to discuss the range of products available and help you choose the one that’s right for you. They can also provide one to one support to help you become a non-smoker.”

Catriona Davies, NHS Borders Health Improvement Specialist said: “You are four times more likely to stop smoking and stay stopped with help and support from an NHS stop smoking service. Last year we supported over 230 people in the Borders to successfully quit smoking for longer than three months. By highlighting the financial benefits of quitting we hope more Borderers will be smoke free this Christmas.”

If you’d like further support to stop smoking or would like more information on the NHS Borders Quit4Good Service please contact us on 01835 825971 (office hours Monday to Friday, 24 hour answer machine), email: smoking.cessation@borders.scot.nhs.uk or visit www.nhsborders.scot.nhs.uk/Quit4good

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Smoking remains a major cause of poor health in Scotland. It is a Scottish Government priority to support those who want to stop smoking. NHS Scotland smoking cessation services provide support that has been shown to be both effective and cost-effective.

The current tobacco strategy, Creating a Tobacco-Free Generation: A Tobacco Control Strategy for Scotland, was published in March 2013 and set out a five year plan for action across the key themes of health inequalities, prevention, protection and cessation. By so doing, it is hoped to create a tobacco-free generation of Scots by 2034, defined by a smoking prevalence among the adult population of 5% or lower.

NHS Borders Quit4good Service met its standard target for the year 2015-16 by 108.5%, for smoking cessation quits at 12 weeks in the 40% most deprived areas of the Borders.  This compares very favourably against our performance in 2014-15 when we achieved only 47% of our target. Only 33.4% of quit attempts were supported by specialist service within NHS Borders, at 12 weeks, compared to community pharmacy service at 66.6% of total quit attempts.  However, specialist service within NHS Borders had a much higher quit rate at 12 weeks at 31.1% compared to Pharmacy services at 18% quit at 12 weeks

The number of quit attempts made with the help of NHS smoking cessation services fell for the fourth consecutive year, which represents a 5% year on year decrease from 2014-15.  The rise of electronic cigarettes to help quitting, may have contributed to these changes.

Along with the rest of Scotland, there were higher quit rates at both one and 3 months in NHS Borders, for treatment with varenicline compared with nicotine replacement therapy.

The full ISD Smoking Cessation Report for 2015/16 is available at www.isdscotland.org