14 Mar 2013

I’m backing Paisley Express bid to get smokers to pack it in

I’m supporting a new campaign, Don’t Be Left Out In The Cold, which was launched by The Paisley Daily Express in a bid to encourage smokers to kick the habit in 2013. It’s a commendable project which has already had a huge impact on the number of people stubbing it out right here in Renfrewshire.
And I couldn’t be happier because it means lives are being saved and/or prolonged. That’s why I decided to table a motion in the Scottish Parliament praising the efforts of the team at the PDE for their crusade which looks like being a huge success.
In the few short months since it was launched  this campaign has helped thousands of people quit smoking and give themselves the chance of enjoying better health and a longer life. The Paisley Daily Express plays a huge role in community life here and is to be applauded for taking a leading role in tackling a huge problem.
My motion shows how much influence a good campaigning local newspaper has on its community. The campaign is pointing people in the right direction and the latest figures from the health board show it has been a resounding success already. I know for a fact many heavy smokers, some getting through 60 cigarettes a day, were encouraged to quit after reading about the campaign in the PDE.
That’s fantastic news and the fact that the number of people in Renfrewshire attempting to kick the habit has almost doubled since the launch of this campaign has to be commended. I was delighted to table a motion in the Scottish Parliament to recognise this achievement.
Quitting isn't easy, but the drastic improvements to life and health are well worth the effort. The damage that smoking causes to your body is horrible, and secondhand smoke can also cause problems for everybody else too.
Smoking is unattractive and costs loads of money. A smoke free future - feeling great and having that extra money in your pocket is well worth the effort.
It’s testament to the hard work of the team at the Paisley Daily Express that this campaign has engaged so many in our communities throughout Renfrewshire. And shows how the paper continues to engage the community and play a key role in our lives.
MSPs from all over the country are supporting my motion: Inspiring Smokers to Kick the Habit: “That the Parliament congratulates the Paisley Daily Express on what it considers its successful Don’t be Left Out in the Cold campaign, which has encouraged thousands of smokers in Renfrewshire to kick the habit since the beginning of 2013; understands that, by working with the Renfrewshire Community Health Partnership, the Tobacco Alliance and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, the newspaper has inspired a 40% increase in people signing up to stop-smoking groups, compared with the same period last year; further understands that the campaign has gained the support of GPs, dental surgeries, schools and newsagents, and believes that the partnership is helping to save lives by highlighting the dangers of smoking.” and that’s good news too.