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Quit-smoking NHS numbers fall

31st May 2007

Figures have revealed that the number of people using services within the NHS to help them stop smoking has fallen by 10%.

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The findings, from the Information Centre for health and social care, come as England geared up toward going ‚Äúsmoke free‚Ä? from July 1.

The data shows that the number of people successfully giving up smoking for four weeks fell from more than 200,000 in 2005 to around 180,000 in 2006.

And from a regional breakdown of the information it also emerged that smoking rates are falling fastest in more affluent areas such as the south east of England and less so in the north west.

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of anti-smoking group ASH, said the figures were worrying as she felt that the NHS quit-smoking services were most crucial in the drive to reduce smoking among the most disadvantaged groups.

Earlier this year the Conservative Party also published evidence which showed that out of 115 primary care trusts, 56 had cut their quit smoking budget.

The Department of Health said that adult smoking rates in England were the lowest on record with the government remaining on track to meet the overall target of 21% cent smoking prevalence in 2010.

A major advertising campaign will be staged in the run-up to the introduction of legislation banning smoking in enclosed places in England from July 1.

A DoH spokeswoman said that the department had increased funding for local NHS stop-smoking services by almost 10% in the last two financial years.

 

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