Tayside quitters have taken the region to the top of Scotland stop smoking league as the area heads towards hitting its national target.
In the first nine months of the 2019/20 recording period, NHS Tayside recorded 460 12-week quits – 94.7% of its full-year target.
Health chiefs say the Covid-19 has highlighted the importance of there being no better time to stop smoking and believe the 486-strong target will be achieved.
Consultant in public health pharmacy, Dr Andrew Radley said: “People that smoke are more likely to suffer from health issues that may require more regular visits to hospital and can suffer more harmful symptoms from a COVID-19 infection.
“Giving up smoking will put them in a better place to deal with illnesses affecting their breathing and lungs.”
He added: “The work of our community pharmacists has been vital in helping people in our communities achieve the best possible health, and smokers attending hospital appointments may also be asked to give up smoking by their consultant to help support their care.”
NHS Tayside has continued to offer specialist smoking cessation services within community pharmacies
It also runs two incentive schemes, including for pregnant women, which offers up to £50 a month in weekly supermarket vouchers if people stay smoke free.
Ninewells Hospital’s respiratory department has been offering treatment through its outpatient clinic, with one third of all smokers attending the clinic taking up the offer of support to quit smoking.