Responding to the new figures showing that targets for successful twelve-week smoking quits in the most deprived areas were only met in 5 of the 14 health boards in 2019/20, Scottish Liberal Democrat public health spokesperson Cllr Rosemary Bruce commented:
"Smoking is still responsible for thousands of deaths a year in Scotland. Now that harm is being compounded by the virus because people who smoke are more likely to get more serious symptoms if they catch it.
"It is critical that services are reaching out and supporting people to be in a better position to fight a virus which affects their breathing and lungs.
"Given they were falling short of targets before the pandemic hit, the Scottish Government needs to set out how it will enable more health boards in every corner of Scotland to make progress at a time when services are operating under restrictions.
"The ambition to create a smoke-free Scotland has never been more important.”