Tayside and Central Scotland

Dundee cash to quit smoking scheme 'a success'

Woman smoking
Image caption NHS Tayside said the scheme achieved higher quit rates than other smoking cessation projects

An NHS scheme offering people money to stop smoking has been a success, according to health professionals.

NHS Tayside said the quit4u scheme, which has finished its two-year national pilot, has helped thousands to quit the habit.

Participants in deprived areas of Dundee were given £12.50 a week if they passed a breath test.

Smokers on the scheme had a one-month quit rate of 49.9% compared with the national average of 33.7%.

Over a three-month period 30.7% of participants had quit smoking, compared with the national average of 14.2% for other smoking cessation projects.

'Cost effective'

Public Health Minister Michael Matheson said: "It's great news that this project is really helping people in Tayside to give up smoking, and, more importantly, stop for good.

"I would encourage other health boards to look to quit4u to see if there are lessons they can learn to increase smoking cessation right across Scotland."

As well as financial incentives, participants on the scheme were offered medication and behavioural support.

NHS Tayside said more than 3,000 people signed up for the quit4u project in two years.

Following the success of the scheme in Dundee, NHS Tayside has rolled out the project to areas in Angus and Perth and Kinross.

NHS Tayside's deputy director for public health Paul Ballard said: "Quit4u offers a highly cost effective means to enable smokers in deprived areas to quit."

Key findings from the quit4u evaluation report were released to health professionals at Discovery Point in Dundee.

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