A LEADING cancer charity has recognised an Evening Times reporter's work highlighting the dangers of smoking with an award.

Sarah Swain was presented with the Global Lung Cancer Coalition Lung Cancer Journalist of the Year Award for her work on our Clear the Air campaign.

Run in partnership with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and NHS Lanarkshire, the campaign has outlined reasons to stop smoking and detailed the support on offer to help.

Sarah was nominated by the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, which is named after the TV presenter and musician who died of the disease in 1994.

Beth Cochrane, national support service manager at the Liverpool-based charity travelled to Glasgow to hand over the prize, along with John McPhelim, lead lung cancer nurse at Hairmyres Hospital in East Kilbride.

Beth said: "It's real people – like the family you featured who had smoked for a century between them – that catches people's attention.

"It did so much to raise awareness."

John, 47, of Uddingston, is one of only 30 specialist nurses for the disease in Scotland and, though there are 3000 cases in the West of Scotland, he said the situation was improving, adding: "There are more treatment options and more targeted treatments. It's now about 30% one-year survival - back in 2002 it was less than 20%."

Evening Times editor Tony Carlin said: "We are extremely proud of the successful pro- active role that our Clear the Air campaign, in partnership with NHS Greater Glasgow and NHS Lanarkshire, has played in persuading smokers to stub out cigarettes.

"Sarah has done a superb job in spearheading that campaign with moving, informative, powerful and persuasive articles.

"She is a very worthy winner of this prestigious health award."

Sarah, 31, from Glasgow's South Side said: "I was thrilled to be told I had won the award. Leading the campaign has been very important to me, as my dad died of lung cancer when I was 17.

"Readers may remember I shared my own story about this, as part of the campaign, and that had a big impact. I'd also like to thank the others – from lung cancer sufferers to those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, as well as health workers and former smokers – who have shared their stories with the newspaper.

"It really has made a difference. I have been contacted by many readers who have been persuaded to take on the challenge of stubbing out their habit as a result of the campaign."

OUR Clear the Air campaign, run in conjunction with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and NHS Lanarkshire, aims to highlight the risks of Scotland's biggest killer and help you quit smoking for good.

n A total of 36 Scots smokers die every day from horrific illnesses such as lung cancer, mouth cancer, strokes and heart disease.

n Then there's the harm caused to others by second-hand smoke, not to mention the spiralling cost of feeding the habit.

n For help to stop smoking visit www.eveningtimes.co.uk/cleartheair or call Smokeline on 0800 848484.

n Find us on Facebook and Twitter by searching for Clear The Air. We're also looking for your stories. Get in touch with Sarah Swain on 0141 302 6532 or email sarah.swain@eveningtimes.co.uk