A SMALL reduction in the number of smokers in Glasgow would save more than 150 lives a years plus millions of pounds in health costs, a study shows.
A 1% cut in the number of smokers would result in a saving of £5.4m to NHS Greater Glasgow And Clyde from the estimated bill of £140m a year, says the Scottish Public Health Observatory.
It says almost one third of smoking-related deaths in Scotland are in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board area.
And that a 1% reduction would cut that figure of 4039 by 156 a year in the Glasgow area.
Across Scotland there is an estimated 13,000 deaths due to smoking.
The Evening Times Clear The Air campaign, in conjunction with NHSGGC and NHS Lanarkshire, is encouraging people to give up smoking.
In Lanarkshire the study found a 1% reduction would prevent 47 deaths a year and save the NHS up to £1.7m.
The two areas have the highest prevalence of smoking in mainland Scotland, with 26% of the Greater Glasgow, and 27.7% of the Lanark- shire population, being smokers.
However, more people are attempting to quit using NHS services.
Around 50,000 people used the NHS smoking cessation services last year in the two areas.
With about one in three believed to be successful the reduction figures would appear to be achieved saving lives and public money.
Across Scotland the study found a 1% reduction would save 539 lives and save £27m.
The Scottish Government said that the figures showed the very real benefits to individuals and to society as a whole of encouraging more people to give up smoking.
Michael Matheson, minister for public health, said: "Giving up smoking is the single biggest thing anyone can do to improve their health.
"These figures show just how big an impact on lives, hospital admissions and the cost to the NHS even a small decrease in the numbers of smokers in Scotland would have.
"It shows we are right to focus on smoking cessation, spending £14m a year on supporting people to kick the habit.
"All NHS boards are working to deliver a smoking cessation target that has a focus on achieving more people quitting within their area's most deprived communities.
"These figures help to identify the wider benefit to Scotland's health by reducing the number of people smoking.
"Not only do people lead longer and healthier lives, but the NHS saves money by not having to treat so many smoking-related illnesses."
THE Evening Times' Clear The Air drive is run in conjunction with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and NHS Lanarkshire.
It aims to highlight the risks of Scotland's biggest killer and help you quit smoking for good.
Every day in Scotland 36 smokers die from illnesses such lung or mouth cancer, strokes and heart disease. Then there is the harm caused by second-hand smoke and the spiralling cost.
For help to quit, see our website at www.eveningtimes.co.uk/cleartheair or call Smokeline on 0800 848484. Or search for Clear The Air on Facebook and on Twitter at: bit.ly/etclearair
And we want your stories. To contact reporter Sarah Swain call 0141 302 6532 or e-mail email@example.com