NHS Lanarkshire offers staff quit smoking app

The health board of NHS Lanarkshire has rubber-stamped the roll out a new app, which has been designed to help staff quit smoking, as well as enable them to improve their health and wellbeing.

The decision means North and South Lanarkshire Council Homecare support workers, HRM Homecare support workers, and South Lanarkshire College lecturers and students all have 12 weeks of free access to the Smoke Free app.

The full roll out was agreed upon after the app began being introduced to staff during the height of the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, which prevented people from having face-to-face contact.

Mary McGibbon, health improvement senior – Tobacco Control Team, NHS Lanarkshire, said: “The aim of this project is to provide those signed up the best chance possible to successfully quit smoking, and with the app combined with support from our Quit Your Way service, this will hopefully lead them to a smoke-free future.”

She added: “We’re supplying the app to staff to encourage and motivate those already contemplating quitting smoking and give them a boost through readily accessible, additional support.”

Already, the Smoke Free app has helped more than half a million people, and it features advice about how people can manage their cravings, as well as providing them with health and financial improvement calculations as a result of not smoking.

Nicola Smith, acting senior officer, Health and Social Care North Lanarkshire, Home Support Service, has already began rolling the app out to staff. She said: “Already a number have signed up, and will no doubt benefit from the vital support available. Our staff work shifts so it’s important that this meets their needs by being available at the times that suit them.”

A representative from Smoke Free said: “The behaviour change techniques on the dashboard include boosting people’s motivation and self-confidence, providing rewards, preventing relapse and identifying reasons to want to stop smoking.”

“It added: “Independent research of users with the app has found that nearly double the participants using the app didn’t smoke during a period of three months after using the app, compared to a control group.”