The number of people who give up smoking in the UK increased significantly between April 2001 and April 2007, according to a cross-sectional study published in the British Journal of General Practice.
The study of 525 general practices identified an overall increase in the provision of smoking cessation advice and referral to stop-smoking services over a six-year period. The proportion of people who smoked reduced by 6%. The decrease was greatest in the most deprived areas and among the youngest patients.
Although there was an overall improvement in smoking cessation, comparatively high rates of smoking were identified among younger adults and those who are socioeconomically deprived. In 2006-07 more than twice as many patients in deprived areas smoked as those in affluent areas.
The authors recommended that more resources are focused on efforts to target the prevention of smoking uptake in children and adolescents and providing more resources for smoking cessation services aimed at younger and socioeconomically-deprived adults.