England - April 2014 to March 2015 a
- In 2014/15, the number of people using Stop Smoking Services continued to decline as seen in recent years. Anecdotal evidence suggests this may be due to an increase in people using e-cigarettes to help them stop smoking rather than making use of these servicesb. It is possible that the fall in smoking prevalence may also be a factorc but the decrease in smoking prevalence is a long established trend which covers the earlier period of increasing use of Stop Smoking Services as well as the recent decline.
- 450,582 people set a quit date through the NHS Stop Smoking Services in 2014/15, down 23 per cent on 2013/14 and the first time this number has fallen for three consecutive years, since NHS Stop Smoking Services (previously Smoking Cessation Services) were set up in all Health Authorities in England in 2000/01. It is now lower than the number of people setting a quit data 10 years ago in 2004/05 when it was 529,567.
- 229,688 people successfully quit (self-reported)d, (also down 23 per cent) which gives a quit rate of just over half (51 per cent) which was similar to 2013/14.
- 69 per cent (158,678) of successful quitters (self-reported)d had their results confirmed by Carbon Monoxide (CO) verificatione.
- The success rate of giving up smoking generally increased with age for both men and women, with 41 per cent for those aged under 18 successfully quitting compared to 57 per cent of those aged 60 and over.
- 18,887 pregnant women set a quit date with NHS Stop Smoking Services, compared to 19,833 in 2013/14 and 15,060 in 2004/05. This represents a reduction of 5 per cent on 2013/14 and an increase of 25 per cent on 2004/05.
- The North East reported the highest number of people setting a quit date per 100,000 of population (1,409) and the West Midlands the highest number of people who successfully quit (self-reported)d per 100,000 of population (645).
- Of all pharmacotherapiesf used to help people quit smoking, 'Combination of licensed NCPs concurrently' had the highest number setting a quit date (135,719) and the second highest number of successful quitters (65,061). 'Varenicline (Champix) only' had the highest number of successful quitters (68,296) and 'Unlicensed NCP' had the highest quit rate (66 per cent). 24,281 people setting a quit date 'did not use any licensed medication or unlicensed NCP' and 52 per cent of these successfully quit.
On the 02/09/2016 table 5.2 was corrected. Previously the data quality indicator for "Records where outcome was not known / lost to follow up" was incorrect. The average change across all LAs was 1.9 percentage points. The text in the report which comments on this indicator on page 30 has also been corrected. NHS Digital apologises for any inconvenience caused.
a The report refers to the number of people setting a quit date and the number of successful quitters, it is possible that the same individual may have made more than one quit attempt during the year. In such instances each quit attempt is recorded, so it is not possible to establish the number of individuals who made multiple quit attempts in the same year. This has always been the case throughout the time series; therefore comparisons with previous years are on a like-for-like basis.
b The following media articles were published when the April 2013 to March 14 report was published in August 2015.
The Independent - "Smokers turn their backs on NHS as they opt for e-cigarettes to help quit smoking"
Nursing in Practice - "E-cig uptake linked to official drop in quitters"
c Health Survey for England - 2013 http://www.hscic.gov.uk/pubs/healthsurveyeng13
d A client is counted as a 'self-reported 4-week quitter' if when assessed 4 weeks after the designated quit date, they declare that they have not smoked, even a single puff on a cigarette, in the past two weeks.
e Carbon Monoxide (CO) validation measures the level of carbon monoxide in the bloodstream and provides an indication of the level of use of tobacco: it is a motivational tool for clients as well as validation of their smoking status. CO validation should be attempted on all clients who self-report as having successfully quit at the 4-week follow-up, except those who were followed up by telephone.
f These data should not be used to assess or compare the clinical effectiveness of the various pharmacotherapies as they reflect only the results obtained through the NHS Stop Smoking Services, and are not based on clinical trials. A trained stop smoking advisor discusses and agrees the treatment option with each client.