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Record number quit smoking on NHS

The number of people who quit smoking on the NHS in England last year increased by 11%, figures have shown.

Of the 757,537 people who used the NHS quit service during the year, 373,954 successfully gave up, marking an 11% rise on the 337,054 who gave up in 2008/09, NHS Information Centre figures revealed.

Health officials have praised the high success rate of the service, with 49% of those embarking on a stop smoking programme last year managing to kick the habit.

Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) proved to be the most popular treatment method, with 65% of people using patches or gum to satisfy their cravings. But of those that did so, only 47% were successful.

By contrast, those that used the stop-smoking drug varenicline (Champix) had a greater chance of giving up, with six out of 10 successfully overcoming their habit, while 49% of those that shunned drug therapy and relied on will power alone were successful at harnessing their habit.

However, a separate report showed that one in 20 hospital admissions for over-35s in 2008-09 were linked to smoking, a trend that was compounded by figures from the British Heart Foundation (BHF) which revealed that the proportion of adult smokers had remained static at 21%.

Betty McBride, Director of Policy and Communications at the BHF, said the figures showed that health officials cannot afford to "rest on their laurels".

Copyright © Press Association 2010

NHS Information Centre

Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

"I am an intermediary stop smoking adviser and hope that this service will be maintained following the changes and cutbacks to the NHS" - L Williamson, Northumberland

"How long had these patients quit for, was it for just the 4 week quit rate that the government take their statistics from? - Janet Jackson, London