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Reasons for smoking investigated


Wednesday June 15th 2011

The reasons why people start overeating, smoking and drinking are being investigated by scientists in a bid to prevent the detrimental habits.

Five universities in Scotland are searching for the answers to help slash the long-term cost of healthcare in the country and save lives.

Researchers from Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee, St Andrews and Glasgow will look at obesity, smoking and alcohol abuse.

The study will be funded for two years by the Scottish Funding Council with a £445,000 grant. It will be included under the new Scottish School of Public Health Research banner.

The researchers want to find out why people start smoking and drinking, more about drinking culture and find ways to intervene and raise awareness of the health problems caused by smoking, drinking and overeating. They will also work on the project with NHS boards and public health officers.

Public Health Minister Michael Matheson said: "This work will mean important access to information and expertise that will be collated for the first time.

"Giving up smoking is the biggest single thing anyone can do to improve their health and we know we need to address Scotland's drinking culture.

"By finding out more information about the causes of smoking and drinking we can intervene early to prevent behaviours arising that have significant cost to individuals, families and wider society, both in terms of health and economic impacts."

Copyright © Press Association 2011

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