Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in England,and is one of the most significant factors that impacts upon health inequalities and ill health, particularly cancer, coronary heart disease and respiratory disease.
Treating smoking-related illness is estimated to cost the NHS £2.7bn a year, with the wider economic costs reaching over £13bn once factors such as lost productivity, tobacco litter and smoking-related house fires are taken into account. Reducing smoking prevalence therefore remains a key local public health priority and a national focus.
Stop smoking services should not be regarded as the main driver for reducing smoking prevalence, which is affected to a much greater degree by national policy and broader local tobacco control strategies. However, stop smoking service providers should sit within an overall tobacco control programme and should form part of a wider action to reduce local smoking prevalence.
A network of stop smoking services has existed in England since 1999. These services are proven to be highly cost-effective and have been shown to effectively assist in reducing the health inequality caused by smoking.
An effective way of reducing the rate of children and young people taking up smoking is to support adult smokers to stop, and therefore high-quality, evidence-based services will also contribute to preventing the initiation of smoking.
Stop smoking services are extremely cost-effective and form a key part of tobacco control and health inequalities policies at both local and national levels
Smoking is one of most significant contributing factors to low life expectancy, health inequality and ill health. We know that prevalence is higher amongst key groups such as Routine and Manual workers, pregnant women and people with mental health conditions. People living in deprivation are more likely to smoke, smoke more, and are less likely to quit.
Smokers are four times more likely to quit smoking with a combination of behavioural support and medication, which is what this service provides.
Local analysis of our SSS has shown that it attracts smokers from the lower socio-economic groups. The service has been asked to separately identify the number of smokers it sees who are pregnant or who have a long-term or mental health condition. In 2015/16, 12% of the clients setting a quit date (with the specialist team only) were pregnant, 11.6% had a long-term condition and 6% reported a mental health condition.
Stop Smoking Services help more people quit
In their best years support from Stop Smoking Services led to over 20,000
people who would otherwise have continued to smoke quitting for at least 12 months. (West et al, 2013).
Stop Smoking Services help more people stay quit
Stop Smoking Services more than triple abstinence rates in the long-term
compared with smokers who attempt to quit without support (NCSCT, 2015).
Stop Smoking Services are highly valued by smokers
Nine out of ten smokers who've used a local Stop Smoking Service say they
would recommend the service to a friend who smokes (NCSCT, 2015).
Stop Smoking Services help reduce inequalities
Poorer smokers are more highly dependent; Stop Smoking Services greatly
improve their chances of success and so help reduce the gap (NCSCT,
Stop Smoking Services reduce the burden on the health care system
Smoking Services in GP surgeries can reduce appointments for long term
conditions, the number of home visits for smokers with long term conditions
and the total unplanned admissions for patients with smoking related illness
The provision of a high-quality stop smoking service is therefore a priority for reducing health inequalities and improving the health of local populations.
Highly effective and cost-effective.
Nationally, treating smoking-related illness is estimated to cost the NHS £2.7bn a year, with the wider economic costs reaching over £13bn once factors such as lost productivity, tobacco litter and smoking-related house fires are taken into account.
Research by ASH shows that £1.1bn is spent annually on social care as a result of long term conditions caused by smoking (£608m to local authorities and £451m to individuals to self-fund their care).
Northumberland has a rate of 300.3 per 100,000 population for smoking-attributable mortality. This means that 604 Northumberland residents die every year from smoking.
It is estimated that;
746 child disease incidents per year in Northumberland are from exposure to secondhand smoke.
76,696 estimated NHS appointments due to smoking in Northumberland
49,370 GP appointments
2,892 Hospital admissions
15,493 Practice nurse consultations
8,941 Outpatient visits
The above harms result in an estimated cost to the local NHS of £12.1m and a cost to local businesses of £3.7m - and overall estimated smoking and tobacco-related cost to our local economy is £16.4m.
Stop Smoking Services are both highly effective and cost effective. The combination of medication and intensive behavioural support offered by local Stop Smoking Services is among the most cost-effective interventions available in the healthcare sector (NCSCT, 2015). Services cost under £1,000 per quality adjusted life year – for comparison, statins to prevent heart disease cost £57,000 per quality adjusted life year (NICE, 2007).
Quitting puts money in pockets of families in need
Currently approximately 1.2 million children in the UK are living in poverty in households where adults smoke. If these adults quit and the costs of smoking were returned to household budgets, 365,000 of these children would be lifted out of poverty (ASH, 2015).
It has been estimated using the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence's Tobacco Return on Investment Tool that cutting smoking rates to 5% across the North East by would not only save thousands of lives, but an estimated £100million a year, freeing up around £50 million for the NHS,
Helping smokers’ quit now reduces the cost of care in the future
The Care Act 2014 requires Councils with social care responsibilities to put in place preventive measures designed to reduce the need for care and support in the future. Helping smokers quit now means that they are less likely to require paid for care in the future.