More smokers quitting than ever – but rates still too high
 

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More smokers quitting than ever – but rates still too high

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More smokers quitting than ever – but rates still too high

 

More smokers quitting than ever – but rates still too high

More smokers than ever are making use of free NHS Stop Smoking Services to help them quit smoking for good, and more than ever are seeing the results they want.

In the year to March 2010, 757,537 people set a quit date through NHS Stop Smoking Services – a 13% increase on the previous year.

And after four weeks, 373,954 people managed to successfully quit – 11% more than in the last year. These are encouraging figures but more could be done.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said: 'Smoking is the biggest preventable cause of death in England. NHS doctors, nurses and health professionals in local Stop Smoking Services are dedicated to tackling smoking – it's because of their excellent work that more people than ever have successfully quit.

'Over 50 years, we have halved the proportion of adults who smoked. But some other countries have lower smoking prevalence than this, so we should go further and reduce the number who smoke.

'With smoking causing so many avoidable deaths and hospital admissions in England, it is important people take up the offers of support available. Anyone who is interested in stopping smoking should call 0800 1 690 169 to find their local Stop Smoking Service.'

'We are now reviewing how best to tackle this issue in the context of the new priority and focus on public health by the Government and this Department.'

As more smokers try to kick the habit, it's the ‘hardened' smokers – those who have smoked for a lifetime and are more dependent on nicotine – who are the hardest to reach.

And to bring our rates down like the global leaders, the NHS needs to look at innovative ways of helping these smokers.

Some local services are already coming up with new ways to help more people quit.

Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust has teamed up with local PCTs to set up a stop smoking service on site, to encourage both patients and staff in the hospital to stop smoking.

Staff at the hospital learn about the role smoking plays in the diseases they treat and the short- and long-term effect it has on their patients, then carry out a ‘mini intervention' with patients, which takes just 30 seconds.

Smoking not only brings some of the patients to the hospital in the first place, but can slow their recovery, making it all the important that they have every opportunity to quit.

The scheme is already having an impact: more than half (53%) of staff who have been on the programme have successfully quit and similar success is being seen with patients.

One patient, Julie Byrne, has finally stopped smoking after 30 years and suffering from both breast cancer and more recently lung cancer.

A former nurse herself, she knew about the health risks of continuing to smoke but was finding it hard to stop.

She said: 'The service I received from the hospital was second to none. The fact I could get support from the nurse that was looking after me in the clinic just made it so much easier for me and with their help I've done it. I used to smoke at least 20 a day and some days, as many as I could. I'm so pleased and I feel so much better for it. It's great the hospital has set up this great service.'


 Posted on : Thu 19th - Aug - 2010

 

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