Sheila Duffy, Chief Executive, ASH Scotland
No Smoking Day is just around the corner on Tuesday 8 March. But why should your organisation take up the baton to promote it?
1. Smoking still kills
With the success of smoke-free public places, people sometimes think that smoking is “solved”. Sadly, nothing could be farther from the truth. Smoking kills more than 10,000 people in Scotland every year, and two out of three smokers will die from it.
2. Quitters save money, while smoking drives poverty
On average, smokers spend more than £1,500 on tobacco every year. If just 1% of people in the poorest communities in Scotland were to quit, it’d save more than £12 million a year. Quitting smoking fights poverty.
3. Ex-smokers are healthier in just 20 minutes
It doesn’t take long to see the benefits of quitting – but they last a lifetime. After 20 minutes, blood pressure returns to normal. By three days in, a quitter is nicotine-free. And a year on, the risk of a heart attack has dropped in half. This is a great chance to show smokers the benefits of going tobacco-free.
4. Every great athlete is part of a team
No Smoking Day is all about teamwork. It’s much easier to go that extra mile when you know you’ve got friends ready to pick you up if you fall, and that’s as true of quitting smoking as running a race. This year’s theme is “feel like a winner”, and every winning athlete has a team of people supporting them on their way.
5. We need quitters to reach a tobacco-free generation
If we’re serious about creating a tobacco-free Scotland by 2034, we need to help people quit right now. Stopping young people from starting is incredibly important, but we won’t put tobacco out of sight and out of mind if we don’t help current smokers to kick the habit.
No Smoking Day is a fantastic chance to make Scotland healthier and wealthier, and do your bit to put smoking out of sight, out of mind and out of fashion for the next generation. If we work together, we can help thousands of people feel like winners and quit.
(Image courtesy of SportScotland)
For official, No Smoking Day campaign materials go to NHS Inform’s campaign site. If you’d like help or advice getting things going on No Smoking Day, contact ASH Scotland on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0131 225 4725.