Two-thirds of Redbridge residents seeking NHS help to quit smoking succeed

Two thirds of Redbridge smokers using NHS services to quit are successful. Photo: PA.

Two thirds of Redbridge smokers using NHS services to quit are successful. Photo: PA. - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Two thirds of the people using the NHS Stop Smoking Service in Redbridge managed to quit, according to the latest figures – a much higher success rate than the national average.

In the 12 months from April 2017 to March this year, 1,584 people in Redbridge signed up with the NHS Stop Smoking Service and set themselves a date to quit.

At follow up meetings four weeks later 1,043 people said they had given up, according to data from NHS England. That’s 66pc, which is above the average rate for England of 51% during the period. The average for London was 52%.

The success rate is based on self-reported results of people who said that they hadn’t had a puff for two weeks since their quit date. But 21% of those who set a date proved they’d kicked the habit by having a test that checks carbon monoxide in their bloodstream.

The Stop Smoking Service has been provided by local authorities rather than the NHS since 2013.

It offers support with one-to-one counselling or group sessions. Medicines that help with nicotine cravings can also be prescribed, while some people also use over the counter products.

The data shows that 39 quitters succeeded with a cold turkey approach with no chemical substitutes for cigarettes.

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The total cost of the service in Redbridge was £376,071, which is equivalent to £361 for each person that quit.

Latest figures from Public Health England show that 12% of the adult population of Redbridge are smokers.

The number of people using the service across the country has been falling though it went up compared to the previous 12 months in Redbridge.

The campaign group Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) says that the popularity of e-cigarettes as an aid to quitting explains some of the decline in users of the service across England but not all of it.

It says tighter council budgets, less publicity nationally about services and an apparent reduction in GPs prompting people to take up the service may also be to blame.