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Umesh Modi is a chartered accountant, and Pamini Jatheeskumar is a chartered certified accountant at Silver Levene...
  Don Lavoie is alcohol programme manager at Public Health England and Gul Root is lead...
Don Lavoie is alcohol programme manager at Public Health England and Gul Root is lead pharmacist, Health and Wellbeing Directorate, Public Health England
More inWhite Papers  

a smoking cessation consultation cbAugust 22 2017

The downward trend in people setting a date to quit smoking and in successfully quitting has continued, new statistics show.

 According to data collated by NHS Digital,

  • the number of people setting a quit date fell for the fifth consecutive year to 307,507 in 2016-17, a 15% decrease 2015-16, and the fifth annual decline in succession
  • the number of successful self-reported quitters at the 4 week follow-up also fell for the fifth consecutive year to 155,875, a decrease of 16% on 2015-16.
  • 72% (112,823) of self-reported quitters had their results confirmed by carbon monoxide (CO) validation.

Community pharmacy was the third most popular setting for supporting smokers to quit, with 59,595 quit attempts recorded there. General practice recorded 115,460 attempts and community settings recorded 99,175.

Self-reported quit rates ranged from 45% in community pharmacy to 62% in psychiatric hospitals. “The reduction in recent years may be partly due to the increased use of e-cigarettes which are widely available outside of these services,” said NHS Digital.

Its statistical report, ‘NHS Stop Smoking Services England, April 2016 to March 2017’, shows how the level of prescribing for smoking cessation products has fallen to 40% of its peak. There were 1.0 million items prescribed in 2016-17, compared to 2.1 million in 2006-07 and 2.6 million in 2010-11. NHS Bradford City saw the highest rate of dispensing, with 59 items dispensed per 1,000 population.

Net Ingredient Cost (NIC) of all prescription items used to help people quit smoking was £28.5 million in 2016-17. This compares to a peak of £65.9 million in 2010-11. Average NIC per item in 2016-17 was £29, while average NICs for specific drugs were £38 for bupropion, £35 for varenicline and £25 for nicotine replacement therapy (NRT).

ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) said the latest figures “provide a valuable insight into how the progress made in fighting the tobacco epidemic is under threat from the erosion of funding to Stop Smoking Services.

“Local authorities are facing a challenging funding environment with allocations for public health shrinking and Stop Smoking Services are among the worst hit by funding cuts. However, reducing funding for smoking cessation is a false economy. NICE estimates for that every pound invested in smoking cessation £2.37 in benefits are generated.”

ASH’s Director of Policy, Hazel Cheeseman, called on the Government to “put its money where its mouth is” and support local authorities in funding the services. ““The reduction in people using stop smoking services is disappointing. Despite impressive ambitions in the Government’s recently published Tobacco Control Plan these highly successful services have been left under-funded,” she said.

Links:
NHS Digital. ‘NHS Stop Smoking Services England, April 2016 to March 2017’       
ASH comment   

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