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Web chat to help smokers quit

An NHS campaign to help people quit smoking by allowing them to talk to health advisers online has been announced.

The campaign, launched by NHS Health Scotland, aims to use new technology to encourage people to give up cigarettes.

Smokers will be able to speak to Smokeline advisers, who will be onlineevery day between 6pm and 8pm, by logging on to the canstopsmokingwebsite.

Interactive text messaging is to be introduced later this year, and inthe meantime the website offers information on support available foranyone who wants to quit smoking.

Kerry McKenzie, health improvement programme manager for tobacco at NHSHealth Scotland, said: "We're bringing Smokeline into the 21st century.

"The Smokeline telephone advisory service will still be available, butweb chat offers an alternative to people who are more familiar, andcomfortable, with chatting online.

Public Health Minister Shona Robison said: "The Smokeline telephoneadvice line has proved popular in the past and I'm sure that making useof new technology will enable even more people to access these servicesand take the first vital step to becoming a nonsmoker."

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