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Smoking quitters more than treble in 10 years

18 August 2011

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The number of attempts to quit smoking through NHS Stop Smoking Services in England is more than three times that of 10 years ago, figures from The NHS Information Centre reveal.

The figures for 2010/11 show nearly 384,000 successful quit attempts compared to fewer than 120,000 successful attempts in 2001/02.

Among pregnant women during the same time period the number of quit dates set and successful attempts rose by a greater degree – from 4,000 quit dates and 1,900 successful attempts in 2001/02, to 22,000 quit dates and 9,900 successful attempts in 2010/11.

However, the report also shows that overall the successful quit rate was 53% in 2001/02 and peaked at 57% in 2003/04 but has declined since, remaining at 49% for the last two years.

About 22% of men in 2010/11 were current cigarette smokers compared to 20% of women. These figures have remained stable over recent years.

Among men, smoking prevalence was highest in London and the North West and lowest in the East Midlands and South West. The highest prevalence among women was in the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber, and the North West, while the lowest was in the South West.

NHS Information Centre Chief Executive Tim Straughan said: “NHS Stop Smoking Services in England saw more quit dates set with it in the last financial year than ever before; and indeed the greatest ever number of successful quit attempts.

“But while a bigger number of quit dates are being set with the service and the number of attempts to successfully kick the habit have also risen, overall the success rate is hovering at just below half.

“This suggests that while there may be a greater resolve within our society to quit smoking with the NHS, it is still the case that about half of all attempts are not successful.”