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Fewer smokers using NHS to quit

The number of people using NHS Stop Smoking Services has fallen for the second year in a row.

Just over 586,000 people set a quit date through the NHS in 2013/14, compared to more than 724,000 people in 2012/13 - a drop of 19%. 

Half of the people (300,540) that set a quit date managed to successfully quit. People aged over 60 had the highest number of successful quits (58%). 

And people 18 and under had the lowest percentage of people who successfully quit (39%). 

Key findings from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) report Statistics on NHS Stop Smoking Services in England also show that in 2013/14:

 - 47% of pregnant women setting a quit date (19,870) successfully gave up smoking. This success rate was the same as last year.

- Of the people who set a quit date and were eligible to receive free prescriptions (332,130), half (165,960) successfully quit.

- One-to-one4support was used by 82% (479,570) of those setting a quit date.

- More women successfully quit (152,450) than men (148,090). However, the success rate of giving up smoking was lower amongst women at 50% compared to men at 52%.

- Nine out of ten people who reported they had successfully quit smoking received pharmacotherapies (5) such as Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) in 2013/14.

The number of people setting a quit date with the NHS Stop Smoking Services between 2012/13 and 2013/14 decreased in all nine regions for the second consecutive year. London had the lowest percentage decrease at 16% whilst Yorkshire and the Humber had the highest percentage decrease at 24% in 2013/14.

The North East reported both the highest rate of people setting a quit date (2,020 per 100,000 population) and the highest rate of people who successfully quit (932 per 100,000) in 2013/14.

The South East reported the lowest rate of people setting a quit date (1,040 per 100,000 population) and the lowest rate of people that successfully quit (567 per 100,000 population) in 2013/14.

HSCIC chair Kingsley Manning said: “There has been a large decline in the number of people setting a quit date this year through using the NHS Stop Smoking Services. However, the fact that the success rate has remained at over 50% demonstrates that this service helps patients that want to stop smoking.”