THE benefits of investing cash in helping people give up smoking is evident from the report from the Scottish Public Health Observatory.
The number of people who are attempting to give up shows firstly how serious a problem smoking still is but also the desire among people to be smoke free and to live a healthier life.
The study set out to show what a 1% reduction in the number of smokers would achieve, and even this small amount led to hundreds fewer hospital admissions and around 150 fewer deaths in the Greater Glasgow area alone.
So from that baseline it is not too difficult to imagine what a major decrease in the smoking population would achieve.
The other benefit is the saving, in financial terms, to the NHS which is a bonus for society – a positive knock on effect of people achieving individual health benefits for themselves.
It is a double bonus for the public purse because the cash saved from treating smoking related illnesses can then be re-invested in other health services.
Encouragement and provision of services is the way to achieve this and the investment of Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Lanarkshire health boards is forward thinking and will reap rewards.
Help smokers stub it out and everyone benefits.