HEALTH bosses praised the Evening Times after revealing a joint campaign helped them nearly DOUBLE the number of people who gave up smoking.

Since we launched our Clear The Air anti-smoking campaign last year, the Evening Times, in part-nership with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, has helped thousands of people access cessation services.

Dr Linda de Caestecker, NHSGGC's director of public health, said: "Our target was to help 6762 people to quit smoking, however nearly double the number of people stopped smoking through our services with 12,129 residents successfully kicking the habit.

"Our ambitious partner-ship with the Evening Times through the award-winning Clear The Air campaign contributed to this fantastic achievement."

The figure was released as part of the annual review of the NHSGGC, Scotland's largest health board.

Cabinet Secretary for Health Alex Neil said he was "impressed" the health board were "doing very well in achieving their targets".

The Clear The Air campaign was established to highlight the risks of Scotland's biggest killer and help bring smoking cessation services to people to help them quit for good.

It followed our Glas-Goals campaign, which encouraged tens of thousands of people to take up physical activity and quit smoking.

Evening Times Deputy Editor Rob Bruce said: "Following the great success of our Glas-goals campaign, which saw Glaswegians stub out 15 million cigarettes, we were delighted to take the health message forward with our partners NHSGGC and NHS Lanarkshire.

"That the results of our Clear The Air campaign exceeded all expectations is fantastic news, not for us or health professionals, but for all the people the campaign helped take their first steps towards a healthier – and longer – life."

THE figures come after research last month showed a fall in the number of lung cancer cases in men in Scotland.

At the start of the Clear The Air campaign, Evening Times reporter Sarah Swain shared her story about being touched by lung cancer.

At 17, she lost her dad John to the disease, when he was aged just 56, and 15 years after he'd given up smoking.

From this Sarah, who won the title of Lung Cancer Journalist of the year for her work, developed hatred of the habit and the drive to help others stub it out before it was too late.

We also told of a family with a smoking habit lasting more than a century between them, and who smoked 700 cigarettes every week.

The McCue family, from Viewpark, Lanarkshire, quit after mum Anne, 57, was diagnosed with cancer.

The whole family – Anne, Denis, son Stuart and his wife Rebecca – attended the smoking cessation group at the Viewpark Health Centre and have beaten a lifetime of addiction.

Clear The Air also campaigned about second-hand smoke when the issue of people smoking in hospital grounds was highlighted.

Fumes from smokers at the entrance at Yorkhill Hospital For Sick Children was going through air vents to the Schiehallion ward, which treats children with cancer.

Children joined health board Tobacco Control bosses to make animated films shown around the hospital to tackle the problem.

Patient Julie Rodgers, 15, who has cystic fibrosis, got involved. She said: "The film is working because when I went past the place where they usually smoke there was no-one there."