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Smokers offered cash to quit habit

A Scottish NHS trust is offering smokers in deprived communities £12.50 a week to quit.

NHS Tayside hopes the £500,000 pilot scheme will help 900 people in Dundee stop smoking over the next two years.

Participants will be offered £12.50 per week for a maximum of 12 weeks credited onto an electronic card which they can redeem in their local supermarket for fresh food and groceries, but not alcohol and cigarettes.

Those taking part will receive nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) through their local pharmacy, where they will have to do a weekly carbon monoxide breath test to prove they are still smoke-free.

Participants will also receive social support from Dundee Healthy Living Initiative (DHLI) where they can access smoking cessation support, physical activities and other lifestyle advice and support.

This new incentive scheme is a partnership between NHS Tayside, Dundee City Council and the Scottish Government and is launching in the autumn.

Paul Ballard, Deputy Director of Public Health at NHS Tayside said: "Currently there are 36,000 smokers in Dundee, half of whom live in poverty.

"Although current smoking cessation services are working well, because of the complexities of poverty and health we know we need to do more to tackle this.

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NHS Tayside