More than a third of a million people quit smoking through the NHS in 2009-10, the highest yearly number on record.
In what represents an 11% rise on the previous year’s total, 373,954 people managed to give up cigarettes.
During the past year 757,537 people used the NHS’s stop-smoking service, giving a success rate of 49%.
The number of people who quit is based on figures collated by the NHS Information Centre, which recorded anyone who was still not smoking cigarettes after four weeks of stopping. The service spent nearly £84m in 2009-10, up £10m on 2008-09’s spending. Average costs per quitter was £224, an increase of 3% on the previous period.
Jo Webber, of the NHS Confederation, said: “The NHS needs to find between £15bn and £20bn in savings over the next four years but it is important that in doing so the real benefits of these kinds of public health services are not forgotten. In the long run, encouraging smokers to quit saves the health service money as well as vastly improving the quality of life of the people involved.”
Copyright © Press Association 2010
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“These figures look impressive but the proof of the pudding is how many remain non-smokers say six months after quitting. Unfortunately in our area the number who take it up again is quite high” – Practice Nurse, Lancs