Today on May 31, the World Health Organisation celebrates World No Tobacco Day and their theme this year is #CommitToQuit.

Although many smokers are keen to kick tobacco and nicotine addiction, many don’t have adequate means or support to do so. Without assistance, only 4–7% of those who attempt to quit succeed in doing so. Structured, well-funded and accessible cessation programmes are therefore an important component of World No Tobacco Day’s celebration of “Commit to Quit”.

The scale of the tobacco epidemic is colossal, posing one of the biggest threats to global health ever faced and killing over 8 million people every year. The dangers extend beyond the physical health of individuals – also impacting social and economic well-being with the annual cost of smoking estimated to be $1.4 trillion worldwide.

There are around 887,000 smokers in Scotland. 10,000 people die from smoking related illness each year, according to the Scottish Public Health Observatory (ScotPHO). Around 350,000 people would either quit or not take up smoking were the smoking rate to fall from 20% to 12% by 2021.

NHS Scotland will save between £104 million and £168 million per year thanks to an 8% drop in smoking, according to ScotPHO. As we have previously shown, individual smokers will save around £1,500 per year by quitting.