Smokers among St Mirren FC fans are being warned that they will be scoring an “own goal” in health terms if they don’t kick the habit.
And the big-hearted club, with support from Renfrewshire Community Health Partnership, is setting up a smoking cessation group for buddies who want to stub out cigarettes.
St Mirren are the first football club in the West of Scotland to set up such a group and Fiona Dunlop, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Improvement Lead Tobacco, said:
“I commend the club for taking this imaginative step which adds to their already established strong links to the community which supports them.
“Linking health improvement initiatives to sport, and football in particular, is an ideal opportunity to target a hard to reach male audience, 45 years and over, which is traditionally resistant to health information.”
The group will run for seven weeks, beginning on Monday, 8th November, between 4-5 pm at the football ground.
The club already runs a successful fit fans initiative and is also working with unemployed supporters to increase their employability by encouraging them to come along once a week to talk about health issues and offer support to improve chances of employment.
St Mirren general manager Brian Caldwell added: “The players and management are highly supportive of the initiative and we want to give fans all the help and support that they need to kick the habit.
“As a further incentive if a 20 a day smoker stops for two months they will save the equivent of the cost of a club season ticket!
“We are sure that the group will be successful and another is planned to start in January.”
Anyone who wants to register for membership should log onto http://www.nhsggcsmokefree.org.uk/smokefree-cup.html and information about Renfrewshire Smokefree Services is available by telephoning 01505 821316.
For more information contact either NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Communications on 0141 201 4429 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.