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NHS spends £60m on quit smoking service

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NHS spending on services to help people give up smoking in England has rocketed by £60m in a decade, new figures reveal.

Data released by the NHS Information Centre show that £84.3m was allocated to smoking help services in 2010/11. This figure is up by almost £500,000 on the previous year.

The number of smokers has remained steady - 22% of men and 20% of women, the same as in the past few years, are classed as smokers.

More and more smokers are trying to give up the habit, with 788,000 quit dates set up with NHS contacts in 2010/11, compared with just 227,000 such appointments a decade ago.

A total of 384,000 successful attempts - people who have still not picked up a cigarette four weeks after their quit date - were recorded last year, a 49% success rate, down on the 53% successful bids (120,000) in 2001/02.

A spokesman for the Department of Health said: “A record number of people have stopped smoking, which is a testament to the excellent work of NHS professionals in local stop smoking services.”

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Readers' comments (1)

  • I think this disgusting and selfish habit should be completely legislated against instead of simple half arsed measures like smoking bans. Until then however, as long as offering services and help like this to people who want to make positive lifestyle choices, there needs to be much stronger social nudging for those who do not.

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