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Question for Department of Health

UIN 56527, tabled on 7 December 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will make it his policy to promote a national awareness campaign on stop smoking services.

Answered on

15 December 2016

Smoking rates in England are now their lowest since records began. The Government’s aim is to increase the number of smokers who make effective quit attempts. The number of smokers in England attempting to quit has declined over the last decade but the proportion of these quitting successfully has increased. As a result, the percentage of all smokers quitting successfully each year has increased over the last five years.

The best way to quit smoking is with a combination of behavioural support and pharmacotherapy. Specialist stop smoking services remain highly effective and cost effective and smokers who use them are up to four times as likely to quit successfully as if they try to quit unaided. Smokers who use English stop smoking services are up to four times as likely to quit successfully.1

Advice from a healthcare professional (HCP) is the most commonly cited external trigger for a quit attempt and therefore HCPs have a vital role to play. A new national Commissioning for Quality and Innovation indicator incentivises National Health Service trusts to identify smokers, provide advice and refer all those who are willing into specialist quitting support. Free online training, commissioned by Public Health England (PHE), is available for HCPs on delivering very brief advice on smoking. PHE continues to promote awareness of stop smoking services and encourage smokers to take up their expert support via its marketing activity including campaigns such as Stoptober.


[1] West, R. (2012) Stop smoking services: increased chances of quitting. NCSCT Briefing #8. London; National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training