Kicking Butt at Forth Valley Royal

Big Cig is pictured getting a kicking at Forth Valley Royal Hospital to mark National No Smoking Day. A recruit from the TA stubbed out the 5ft tall fake cigarette with his toxic tobacco talents to achieve V for Victory – the theme of this year’s campaign which has been chosen to coincide with the l00th anniversary of the first world war.

The mock ‘knockout blow’ was delivered outside the hospital main entrance to a member of staff from the Stop Smoking Service, dressed in a Big Cig costume. The part-time soldier was determined to extinguish its efforts to make smoking appear attractive. Staff from the Stop Smoking Service also joined the attempt, handing out details of how to quit. During the afternoon nurses were available on social media to answer questions from people wanting to quit.

Gillian Bruce, NHS Forth Valley Smoking Cessation Specialist Nurse said: “Giving up smoking is one of the most important lifestyle decisions leading to better health. By letting people know about services to help them quit will reduce the number of tobacco-related illnesses across Forth Valley. It is also very important that we try to protect the next generation from starting to smoke and give them the best start in life.”

56,000 people are admitted to Scottish hospitals every year as a result of tobacco use – more people than you can fit in Hampden Park – and smoking contributes to a shocking 13,000 deaths a year. Smoking is one of the biggest contributors to the terrible health inequalities which affect Scottish society. Average smoking rates for the whole of Scotland are around 23 per cent, but in the most deprived communities that rate is 36 per cent.”

Scotland was the first country in the UK to introduce a ban on smoking in public places, and has also increased the sales age from 16 to 18, and banned vending machines and the display of smoking-products in shops.