Asda supermarkets to help smokers quit

A major supermarket chain has teamed up with the Scottish government to help smokers kick the habit.

Health teams will visit in-store pharmacies at seven Asda supermarkets across Scotland to advise shoppers who want to quit.

Customers will be able to take lung age and carbon monoxide tests and pick up "quit calendars" to help their attempt.

Asda said the money saved on breaking a 20-a-day habit could feed a family of four for a week.

Public Health Minister Michael Matheson said: "Quitting smoking is one of the best things someone can do to improve their health and for those who are considering quitting, the new year is a perfect time to do so.

"By quitting you can reduce the risk of a heart attack or coronary heart disease and as our new campaign shows, it can also bring big savings when household budgets are tight.

"We know that people are more likely to succeed if they get support - and there is a huge range of support available in Scotland, from face-to-face or online to nicotine replacement therapy and group sessions."

Asda spokeswoman Polly Jones said: "Asda is pleased to be working with the Scottish government to help people find the support they need to give up smoking.

"Quitting smoking is good for your health and good for your pocket, and we hope that offering advice and information services in-store will make it easy for our customers and colleagues to access the help they need to quit smoking for good."

Last year, another supermarket chain - Sainsbury's - stopped selling tobacco products at 10 of its shops.

The move was in response to the Scottish government's health levy, which adds a supplementary charge on business rates paid by large stores selling cigarettes and alcohol.

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