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Scotland's smokers urged to quit

4th January 2010

A government minister has called on people who smoke in Scotland to give up the habit in 2010.

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Shona Robison, Scotland's public health minister, explained that to quit smoking was the most effective individual improvement a person could make for their overall health.

Her advice comes as the Scottish government is anticipated to put in force a ban on tobacco advertising in retail outlets and cigarette vending machines later in January.

The bill has also proposed that shops which sell cigarettes to under-18s would be served with fixed-penalty notices. Shops which carried on selling cigarettes to underage smokers would face a total ban.

Ms Robison said that she was hopeful that the new laws would make an impact on decreasing the number of younger smokers in Scotland.

The bill has the support of Labour and the Liberal Democrats, but the Conservatives are against it, claiming there is only "flimsy evidence" to support the connection between advertising and youth smoking.

The Scottish government stated that more than 60,000 people attempted to quit smoking during 2008/09 and 23,126 people were able to stop for good.

Smoking kills 13,000 people and causes 35,500 hospital admissions every year, according to official figures.

 

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