Fresh Air-shire, NHS Ayrshire & Arran’s smoking cessation and support service, turns ten-years-old this month.
The service was set up a decade ago in 2006, to provide the people of Ayrshire and Arran with a one-stop-shop where they could get specialist advice, support and access to Nicotine Replacement Therapy.
Fresh Air-shire’s launch coincided with the ban on smoking in public places legislation which was introduced in the same year. The aim was to ensure that people would have easy access to support when they decided to stop smoking.
Smoking cessation services were then extended in Ayrshire and Arran by introducing both a pharmacy-based service, provided from local pharmacies; and the more specialist service, Fresh Air-shire.
The pharmacy service offers wide access but less intensive support while Fresh Air- shire offers targeted and more intensive support. Both these services work together to offer support to help people successfully stop smoking.
Over the past ten years, the pharmacy service and the specialist Fresh Air-shire service have supported 47,868 people in their attempt to stop smoking. Fresh Air-shire has seen 18,530 people during the past ten years.
Over the same time period, the pharmacy service has had referrals for 6,147 people in South Ayrshire.
The benefits of the ban on smoking in public places are stark. Following the introduction of the legislation there was: an 18 per cent reduction in childhood asthma admissions; a 39 per cent reduction in second-hand smoke exposure in 11-year-olds and in adult non-smokers; and an 86 per cent reduction in second-hand smoke in bars.
Ash Scotland calculates that smoking causes 10,000 deaths in Scotland and approximately 128,000 people to be admitted into hospital. Ash Scotland has calculated that smoking costs the Scottish economy £1.1 billion each year.
Dr Carol Davidson, Director of Public Health, said: “I am delighted that Fresh Air-shire, together with our pharmacy service, have been so successful in offering support and advice to people in Ayrshire and Arran for the past ten years.
“I am convinced that many lives have been saved over the past ten years, thanks to the support that people have received from these services to stop smoking.
“It is the single best thing smokers can do to improve their health and their life expectancy.””
140206Fresh Air06: The Fresh Air-shire service is launched back in 2006
120308NosmokingdayCrosshouse2008e: 181010FreshAir1: The Fresh Air-shire team launch Smoke-free homes and cars in 2010
140312nosmok1: Fresh Air-shire in a local community raising awareness of smoking in 2012
050814smoke1: Dr Carol Davidson and the Fresh Air-shire team launch the countdown to NHS Ayrshire & Arran’s smoke-free grounds in 2014
20160408FreshAir1: This month, Karon Maxwell, Fresh Air-shire Advisor celebrates Fresh Air-shire’s 10th birthday at University Hospital Crosshouse