By Lucy Ashton
As new figures released today show only 3 of 14 health boards have met their target for helping people to quit smoking, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader and health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has warned that efforts to deliver a smoke-free Scotland are falling short.
The new figures reveal that Dumfries & Galloway, the Western Isles and Greater Glasgow & Clyde have met the target.
Commenting, Mr Cole-Hamilton, right, said: “Smoking claims the lives of thousands across Scotland every year, predominantly in the most deprived areas of the country.
“Helping people stop smoking is important for many reasons. Individuals get healthier, children and family members reduce their exposure to passive smoking and, in the long term, it reduces the pressure on our hard-pressed health service.
“Liberal Democrats were instrumental in delivering the ban on smoking in public areas, but further progress is being stifled and delayed by a lack of government support.
“The Scottish Government needs to work with health boards and urgently set out how it will enable more of those boards to make vital progress.”