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MSP celebrates being smoke-free by supporting ASH Scotland campaign

By Alan Beresford

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Karen Adam MSP (inset) is celebrating 18 months smoke free by urging people to back ASH Scotland's latest campaign.
Karen Adam MSP (inset) is celebrating 18 months smoke free by urging people to back ASH Scotland's latest campaign.

NORTH-east MSP Karen Adam has voiced her support for a health charity's no smoking campaign.

Ms Adam, the MSP for Banffshire and Buchan Coast, is celebrating 18 months of being tobacco-free and has swung her weight behind ASH Scotland's Quit and Win campaign.

The campaign is highlighting that giving up smoking increases opportunities to live a healthier life through halving the risk of developing lung, mouth, throat, pancreas, bladder, oesophagus and larynx cancer after five to 10 years of being tobacco-free.

The charity also advises that an average smoker who gives up tobacco would save more than £3,000 within 12 months, money that could be better spent on a holiday or something special for themselves or their loved ones.

Ms Adam, who used to smoke around 20 cigarettes a day, made several attempts using various methods over the years to give up smoking before finally succeeding through personal determination in September 2022.

She said: “I started to feel ill and horrible when smoking – experiencing general sluggishness, wheezing and migraines.

"Through my work as co-convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Cross Party Group on Heart and Circulatory Diseases, I became increasingly acutely aware of the risks smoking posed to my health.

“I often recalled the death of my mother, who also smoked, following a heart attack at the age of 49. I will be 49 this year and became determined to give up smoking as my children need me to be healthy.

“I got to the point when smoking what turned out to be my last cigarette, the realisation I was poisoning myself so I just put it out and, exercising sheer willpower, haven’t smoked since. I feel empowered and no longer a slave to smoking, as I’m healthier, mentally sharper and more energetic.

“I am pleased to be supporting ASH Scotland’s Quit and Win campaign and urge anyone who is thinking about giving up smoking to do it in your own time, and in ways that work best personally best for you.”

Sheila Duffy, Chief Executive of ASH Scotland, said: “We congratulate Karen Adam MSP on succeeding in her journey to become tobacco-free, and we’re delighted to have her support for our ‘Quit and Win campaign.

“Tobacco is still the biggest cause of preventable death in Scotland but people across Banffshire and Buchan Coast who smoke can have a brighter future by using the expert stop smoking support, such as that provided for free by NHS Scotland’s Quit Your Way service, which can increase the chances of successful quit smoking attempts by three to four times.

“So whether you’re trying to give up smoking for the first time or trying again, make a commitment to yourself and those you care about to contact Quit Your Way Scotland if you need personalised advice and support.”

Anyone who has the goal of giving up smoking is advised to contact visit at QuitYourWay.scot or call the free helpline on 0800 848484.

ASH Scotland is tackling the tobacco industry head-on by campaigning to reduce the harms caused by smoking. For more information, follow the health charity’s social media channels on Instagram and Facebook.

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