Smokers are being urged to make a fresh start now that a new year has arrived by 'quitting and winning' in 2023.

The plea has been issued by ASH (Action on Smoking & Health) Scotland, which has launched a campaign to encourage people who smoke to make a positive difference to their health and personal finances by pledging to kick the habit.

According to the charity, a smoker who decides to make a new year’s resolution to quit could save in the region of £350 by No Smoking Day on March 8, as well as enjoying major health benefits.

Sheila Duffy, ASH Scotland chief executive, said: “Around two-thirds of adults who smoke say they wish they had never started, so what better time than now to make a fresh start by deciding to quit?

“Don’t be discouraged if you’ve tried to quit before. It can often take a number of attempts but it is the best thing you can do for your health, finances and for those around you.

“Whether you’re ready to stop or just beginning to think about it, Quit Your Way Scotland can help. There is no one way to quit smoking but the best way to stop and remain smoke free is by reaching out for person-centred support that is available for free.”

Ms Duffy added that quitting is one of the biggest proactive steps smokers can take to quickly improve their health and reduce the risk of longer-term smoking-related illness.

“Just 20 minutes after you stop smoking, your heart rate drops to a healthier rate," she said. "Circulation improves and your lung function increases between two and 12 weeks afterwards.

"After one year, your risk of coronary heart disease is about half that of a smoker’s. After 10 years, the risk of lung cancer falls to half that of someone who still smokes.

“Contacting Quit Your Way Scotland will give you the confidence to move forward with your quit journey and the tools you need to make the best possible start to the new year for you and your family.”

To find out more about the support available to those who want to give up smoking, visit www.QuitYourWay.Scot or call the free helpline on 0800 848 484.