A new service to help people in the east of Glasgow quit smoking was launched on Monday 26th November 2007 by Councillor James Coleman, Chair East Glasgow Community Health & Care Partnership (CHCP).
The new Smoking Cessation Befriending project enhances existing Smoking Cessation services with free & confidential one-to-one support to help people stop smoking.
The Befriending project will provide support to people who want to stop smoking by matching them with a volunteer from their community who will provide them with encouragement and support before during and after the quit attempt. This support will be provided by telephone and face to face support.
Included in the befriending service is free access to stress relief sessions before, during and/or after a quit attempt. By offering stress relief sessions, we are attempting to reduce the likelihood smokers will return to cigarettes when attempting to combat nicotine withdrawal.
Councillor James Coleman, Chair East Glasgow Community Health & Care Partnership, (CHCP) said at the launch: “The single biggest preventable cause of premature deaths in Glasgow is smoking - 29% of all deaths in Glasgow are due to smoking. Smoking, more than any other identifiable factor, contributes to the gap in healthy life expectancy between those most in need and the advantaged.
“In the East and North of Glasgow (37.5%) there are significantly more adult smokers than in other area within Glasgow and indeed throughout the rest of Scotland. The figure is highest within East Glasgow (North Balanark and Easterhouse South) with 52.4% of the adult population classed as smokers.
“Tackling tobacco is a priority for East Glasgow Community Health and Care Partnership, and I welcome this new service which expands the current smoking cessation services.”
Befriending volunteer, and ex-smoker James McNulty, said: "Volunteering with the Befriending Project is a great way to support the East End. It's enjoyable being a part of the Project."
Kay Samson, Keep Well Tobacco Coordinator, East Glasgow CHCP said:
“Smoking is a chronic relapsing condition so having additional support available in a community setting for smokers during their quit attempt and for those who have relapsed, will help increase local quit rates.
“Volunteer Befrienders encourage smokers to think about stopping and raise awareness of Smoking Cessation services while offering ongoing advice and encouragement, over the phone, in person, or a combination of both.
“Clients can also access free stress relief sessions which work alongside the social support offered by Befrienders and provide relaxation techniques to aid nicotine withdrawal.
“If local people are interested in becoming a volunteer befriender please contact 0141 201 9811. We offer full training and support.
“ Current smoking cessation services include 7 weeks of group support with up to 12 weeks of Nicotine replacement Therapy (NRT). This service is best suited to heavily addicted smokers.
“The Starting Fresh Pharmacy service provides up to 12 weeks NRT with one to one support and is most suited to less addicted smokers. People wanting quit should contact 0141 201 9832”
For further information contact 0141 201 4429.