North Somerset smokers struggle to kick habit

PUBLISHED: 07:00 05 September 2018

Smokers in North Somerset are struggling to give up.

Smokers in North Somerset are struggling to give up.

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Fewer than half of smokers in North Somerset using the NHS Stop Smoking service managed to kick the habit last year, according to new figures.

From April 2017 to March this year, 1,278 people signed up for the scheme and set themselves a date to quit.

NHS England data shows that 629 of those people had managed to give up smoking – the equivalent of 49 per cent.

This is below the national average for England, which stands at 51 per cent, but is an improvement on the South West average of 43 per cent.

The cost of running the service in North Somerset is £270,008 – which works out as £429 for each person who quit.

The NHS data also shows 11 per cent of North Somerset’s population smoke.

Despite the quitting figures, Public Health England (PHE) believes the Stop Smoking service is the ‘most effective way’ for smokers to give up the habit.

Rosanna O’Connor, PHE director of alcohol, drugs and tobacco, said: “It is encouraging local NHS Stop Smoking services are as effective as ever at helping smokers to quit, even if overall numbers have declined.

“E-cigarettes are now the most popular way to quit in England and Stop Smoking services are still the most effective way to give up – with smokers using both having the highest success rates.

“The best thing a smoker can do is quit, completely and forever.

“Smokers serious about quitting should use these highly effective services.

“Many reasons have been suggested for why overall numbers are down including reduced publicity, nationwide re-organisation and the emerging popularity of e-cigarettes as a quitting aid.

“However, the evidence remains clear that these services are the most effective way to help smokers quit.”

The data also highlights the age groups which had the most success in quitting in the district were 35-44 and 44-59 year olds, while this figure drops to 43 per cent among people who smoked aged 18-34.

Ms O’Connor added: “We provide guidance for local authorities to help them commission high quality services and are working with the National Centre for Smoking Cessation Training to ensure providers have free access to high quality training.”

Support to stop smoking is offered at www.smokefreenorthsomerset.co.uk

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