A fire service has teamed up with the NHS to encourage people to stop smoking to cut fires and improve their health.

From today Strathclyde Fire and Rescue officers who visit homes to offer fire safety advice will also hand an NHS smoking cessation pack to householders where it is deemed relevant.

Strathclyde Fire and Rescue launched the scheme in partnership with NHS Health Scotland, the country’s national agency for improving health.

Under the new scheme fire officers will not offer health advice, but will be able to direct smokers to Smokeline, NHS Health Scotland’s freephone smoking cessation advice line.

All fire stations will be issued with supplies of the Smokeline promotional card, a passive smoking leaflet, and smoking cessation posters for use in home fire safety visits and community safety talks.

Andrew Harris, health improvement programme manager for tobacco at NHS Health Scotland, said: “Smoking currently causes more than 13,000 deaths each year in Scotland. Second hand smoke in the home is also a major health risk, especially for young children.

“So when you consider that cigarettes also cause so many house fires, it makes a lot of sense for health services and fire services to work together to encourage people to stop smoking.”

The fire service delivers around 10,000 free home fire safety visits across the Strathclyde region each year.

Strathclyde Fire and Rescue covers a population of about 2.3 million people across three health board areas, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, NHS Lanarkshire and NHS Ayrshire and Arran.