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Smoking cessation services in deprived areas most successful

In a national report, the Healthcare Commission has found that NHSprimary care trusts (PCTs) in areas of deprivation are providing thebest approach to reducing smoking levels.

Research shows thatpeople living in deprived areas are more likely to take up smoking, tostart smoking younger and smoke more heavily, which contributes topoorer health. The report outlines the findings of a review looking attobacco control services (such as programmes to help people quitsmoking and smoke-free workplaces/public places) within primary care inEngland.

The report makes the following key recommendations to reduce smoking levels in communities:

1.Tobacco control must remain a top priority for both the government andPCTs. It must not be a victim of financial constraints orreconfiguration.

2. PCTs need to effectively engage withthe public to ensure that their efforts to reduce smoking levels targetthose most in need.

3. Working with partners is strongly encouraged and is essential to the success of tobacco control services.

4. The Department of Health and PCTs should ensure that they are collating and using data effectively.

5.PCT staff members should be supported to reduce smoking levels in theirworking environments, including their own stop smoking attempts. Thiswill enable staff to become true "ambassadors" of tobacco controlefforts.

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