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NHS services helping smokers quit

Wednesday August 21st 2013

Over the last 10 years, NHS stop smoking services have helped around 145,783 people in England quit long term, according to new research.

The NHS services, which include prescribing medication to help smokers quit and face-to-face counselling, were examined by a team led by Robert West, Cancer Research UK director of tobacco research at University College London.

Poorer people with traditionally high rates of smoking are being helped by the services, which have also "increased their reach and impact threefold" according to the team's findings.

Authors of the team's report wrote in the British Medical Journal that around 35% of people who had set a quit date, had stopped smoking four weeks later. Quitting long term is classed as still not smoking after 12 months, and this figure was 22,000 in 2010/11 alone.

The author's also wrote: "Bearing in mind the difficulty in quitting experienced by smokers who typically attend stop smoking services, even a 35% four-week quit rate represents a substantial impact when applied to the nearly 800,000 quit dates set with the services in 2010/11 (700,000 smokers, or 8% of the nine million smokers in England."

Copyright Press Association 2013

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