Join in with ASH Scotland’s social media campaign with #QYWresult

Wednesday 11th March is No Smoking Day 2020. Here at ASH Scotland we’re taking the opportunity to celebrate the positive, personal, and sometimes unexpected results that people can gain from stopping smoking. To that end, here are two ‘Quit Journey’ stories provided to ASH Scotland that showcase #QYWresult.

We hope you’re inspired, and if you’re thinking of quitting smoking, this #NoSmokingDay might just be the perfect excuse — you might be surprised at the results you can achieve!

Story One

I had smoked for 19 years, and had quit so many times. I always tried to go cold turkey, but…


At a time when the further and higher education sector is Scotland is investing more than ever in student support and improving staff wellbeing, there’s a real drive to shape learning environments to be places that support physical and mental wellbeing and prevent ill health.

This month sees ASH Scotland launch a new range of resources to help further and higher education institutions make practical changes to bring about a smoke-free culture on campus. We do so because this approach can lend support to other priorities in education such as boosting attainment, student retention and improving outcomes.

If we want…


STA members get involved in group discussions

Tuesday 27th November saw STA members gathering in Edinburgh for the STA Annual Learning Day. The venue for this year’s event was the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation, which turned out to be the perfect setting for the over 60 attendees to enjoy a variety of presentations and get into some good discussions around the themes of the day.

The day was opened by STA Chair, Brian Pringle, who welcomed both new and returning attendees to the Learning Day. He highlighted how the STA remains a strong network for sharing local and national updates on smoking cessation and tobacco control…


This week is Challenge Poverty Week. As part of this, the Poverty Alliance and other organisations across Scotland are highlighting how people are trapped by poverty and how it puts people in impossible situations. Solving poverty is about ensuring we can all participate in a just and compassionate society.

Recognising and addressing health inequalities is a crucial part of the solution. ASH Scotland has previously drawn attention to how the story of smoking in Scotland is one of inequality. Smoking rates are highest in SIMD* 1 and 2, and latest Scottish Health Survey figures indicate that the smoking rate in…


Many people look to smoking to help cope with stress or anxiety — but does it work?

Let’s be clear — addiction is not good for mental health. So much so that Tobacco Use Disorder (the name given to nicotine dependence) is a recognised psychiatric disorder.

Of course the Be Free campaign is not about medical terms, but the conversations, attitudes and perceptions in the places where young adults spend their time — and these are a quite different story. Here we often find a view that smoking helps people to calm down and feel better. …


The latest official figures suggest that 17% of young adults (the 16–24 age range) smoke tobacco, averaging around 10 cigarettes a day (the actual question is “do you smoke tobacco at all?”). For these young people a substantial part of their money is, quite literally, going up in smoke.

It is no secret that much of the cost of tobacco is due to Government taxation. …


www.befree.scot

Providing a health-promoting environment for young adults has immediate benefits for their attainment and engagement.

While moving into positive destinations and having new experiences may be exciting for some young adults, it can be an unsettling and challenging time for others, especially those already experiencing poor mental health. It’s at times of stress or uncertainty that young people may look for coping mechanisms — but taking up smoking has implications for attainment now, as well as long term health impacts.

Young adults we spoke to who were already smokers talked about the hold smoking had on them, dictating the need…


Human rights were established to protect fundamental values such as the ability to live, have a family and be free from cruel treatment.

There are various instruments underpinning this: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child to name some. When governments sign these documents they agree to the principles but the contents are not automatically incorporated into national laws, although courts may refer to these instruments in arriving at a judgment.

So what have human…


Let’s forget for a second that smoking is an addictive killer. Put that aside for now and let’s talk about cold, hard cash.

Money makes the world go around. This is particularly true for young people, and especially those without too much money to play with. For this group, the health impacts of smoking may seem a distant concern, but the financial costs hit immediately, and keep stacking up.

Smoking is expensive, costing the average smoker in Scotland £1600 a year. That’s a car or a summer holiday. For a couple getting married at age 30 it could have been…


Credit: Karen Catbird

There is an urgent need to reduce the presence of single-use plastic in our environment — and it is encouraging to see governments beginning to announce concrete actions, such as bottle return schemes or restrictions on the production of particular items.

There are really two kinds of single-use plastics. There are those with a very clear and substantial human benefit, which cannot be easily replicated — an obvious example would be the disposable syringes or gloves used in hospitals. …

ASH Scotland

Our vision is that everyone has the right to good health and to live free from the harm and inequality caused by smoking.

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