Caroline Phee smoked years ago and is glad she stopped. She's now part of the team of advisers on Smokeline, Scotland's national stop smoking helpline.
Here, Caroline talks to RUSSELLLEADBETTER about her job – and the satisfaction of helping smokers quit.
WHAT'S the betting that cigarette prices are likely to go up again next week when the Chancellor delivers his new Budget?
As things stand, if you smoke 20 cigarettes a day, even the cheapest brand will cost you £2555 every 12 months – enough for a really good holiday.
Each year, 13,500 Scots die from smoking-related illnesses – while another 35,000 people have to be admitted to hospital because of smoking-related problems.
More than a million adult Scots still smoke – some 23% of the adult population.
The newest figures reveal there were 108,269 attempts to quit smoking with the aid of Smokeline and other NHS cessation services – up from 83,925 in 2010.
The Evening Times' award-winning Clear The Air campaign with health boards in Glasgow and Lanarkshire has been praised by health bosses.
Its aim is to make people quit smoking and improve their health – all of which means that the trained advisers at Smokeline, Scotland's national stop smoking helpline, are inundated with inquiries from people seeking help.
Some callers have been as young as 14, and their mums' voices can be heard in the background. Others are in their 70s, and finally want to give up.
"It's a really interesting post," says Caroline Phee, an adviser at Smokeline, which is based at the Golden Jubilee National Hospital in Clydebank.
"It can be very busy. Sometimes it picks up when the service is advertised on TV. We usually get a flood of calls after that.
"We can get a few calls at the weekend, when people are thinking, 'Okay, we can get this sorted out', and they come on and we give them the best advice we can.
"We do get a lot of folk who are thinking about stopping smoking and they want to know how do they go about it, who do they get in contact with, and what support there is for them?
"There is a lot of support. You have the smoking cessation advisers, for a start – the health boards run those.
"Local pharmacies help as well. We're here for support too.
"The health information advisers can tell people where to go for help but we also support them when they want to get through a craving.
"We're somebody at the other end of a phone for them to speak to.
"We also do web-chats. Instead of phoning, if they are at a computer and want to speak to someone, we're here for them.
"We can also send out mobile texts of support. It's a very good idea, using technology like this.
This Friday, meanwhile, will see a community engagement team from the Scottish Government's Smoking Cessation Campaign stationed for most of the day in front of the Next store at Silverburn shopping centre.
Caroline cannot say how many people she has helped over the years – "the most important thing is the support that we can offer."
The 48-year mother of two, who is from Glasgow's South Side, was herself a smoker, "but it was," she says, "a long time ago.
"I was in my late teens and I smoked for a few years but I came to my senses and gave up.
"The fact that I am an ex-smoker makes you more empathetic towards people who are trying to give up. You understand where they are coming from."
AND she goes on: "You do sometimes still, after all this time, get a little craving if you are out, but it's no more than that.
"The fact is, it is an expensive habit now, and getting more expensive. It can cost about £7 for a packet of 20.
"And when the Budget comes in next Wednesday, the price will probably go up again."
Caroline and her colleagues have come to be familiar voices on the phone for many callers.
"You might get some people who are trying to stop and maybe phone us up more often. They are just looking for support.
"You say to them: 'How many days or weeks is it now since your last cigarette? How are you feeling just now?' They might want to get help getting through a craving – we can tell them to try deep-breathing exercises, or to make a cup of tea or a drink of juice. Or to read a book or watch TV.
"If they have jobs they've been putting off around the house, they could do them. Or if it's a particularly nice day, we suggest they go out for a walk.
ANYTHING to keep yourself occupied – that's the secret. People occasionally phone to say that the advice definitely helped.
"It's great to get that sort of feedback."
Ultimately, of course, it's up to the person whether he or she quits the habit. No-one can do it for them.
"But people are starting to realise that, apart from the cost, smoking is bad for their health," says Caroline. "This is an enjoyable job though, and you do get satisfaction from helping people."
If you want to quit smoking, today or any other day, help is just a phone call away.
l To contact Smokeline call free on 0800 848484 or chat online 7 days a week between 8am and 10pm at: www.canstopsmoking.com
KIDS AIM FOR A SMOKE-FREE SCHOOL
PUPILS fed-up with walking through smoke on their way to class are determined to stop parents puffing at school gates as the No Smoking Day campaign gets under way.
Children at Christie Park Primary at Alexandria in West Dunbartonshire have introduced a smoke-free school policy and put up signs to persuade smokers to give up or move away.
Callum Cummine, chairman of the pupil council, said: "We have a suggestion box so pupils can tell us what they think we should be doing and many complained of having to walk through smoke to get in and out of school.
"We asked our health improvement co-ordinator Lauren McLaughlin to come and talk to us about what we could do to make our school smoke-free and she helped us draw up a policy.
"We aim to encourage parents not to smoke within sight of our school. We hope our campaign – in which we sent out letters to all parents – will make a big difference."