Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today warned that efforts to deliver a smoke-free Scotland risk falling short after new figures showed the number of attempts to quit smoking hit a five year low and a quitting target missed in the most deprived areas.
New figures show that the number of quit attempts made with the help of the NHS smoking cessation services in 2016/17 fell for the fifth consecutive year to 59,767.
In the most deprived areas, there were just 7,842 successful quits, well below the target of 9,404.
Mr Cole-Hamilton said:
“Smoking is still responsible for 10,000 deaths a year. Kicking the habit is essential to improving public health but the target to help more people from deprived backgrounds achieve this has gone up in smoke.
“Helping people stop smoking is a win-win for everyone. Smokers get healthier, children and family members reduce their exposure to passive smoking and in the long term, it reduces the pressure on our hard-pressed health service.
“We need to understand why the Scottish Government has not reached this target to ensure that this situation is addressed next year."