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Fewer smokers trying to kick the habit with NHS help

October 30, 2013: The number of smokers trying to quit with NHS help has fallen for the first time since 2008, new figures show.

*HSCIC must be quoted as the source of these figures

Today's Statistics on NHS Stop Smoking Services: England, April 2012 - March 20132 report by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) shows nearly 724,200 quit dates were set with NHS Stop Smoking Services in 2012-13, an eleven per cent fall on the previous year (816,400).4

The report also shows a seven per cent fall in the number of people that successfully quit from 401,0005 in 2011-12 to 373,900 in 2012-13.6

Despite the number of setters and quitters falling, the overall success rate of those trying to quit with the NHS has increased from 49 per cent in 2011-12 to 52 per cent in 2012-13. The number of setters and quitters is still three times as high as in 2002-03 (234,900 setters and 124,100 quitters) when the overall success rate was 53 per cent.

Key findings in today's annual NHS Stop Smoking Services report show that in 2012-13:

  • More women than men set a quit date (376,400 women compared with 347,800 men) although the success rate of giving up smoking altogether was slightly higher in men (53 per cent) than in women (50 per cent).
  • Success rates increased with age: one in three of those aged 18 years and under were successful quitters (34 per cent, or 6,200 out of 18,200), and for those aged 60 years and over this was almost three in five (59 per cent, or 67,000 out of 113,900).
  • East Midlands Strategic Health Authority (SHA) had the highest proportion of successful quitters (57 per cent, or 36,000 of 63,700) compared with North East SHA which reported the lowest proportion (47 per cent, or 25,000 out of 53,600).
  • Spending on NHS Stop Smoking Services was £87.7 million, £500,000 less than last year where it was £88.2 million.
  • Cost per quitter was £235, a seven per cent increase on the figure of £220 in 2011-12.

NHS Stop Smoking Services 2012-13  

The report can be accessed at

The quarterly publication Statistics on NHS Stop Smoking Services: England, April to June 2013 Q1 is also published today and can be accessed at: This report shows provisional data at Local Authority level.


Notes to editors

1. The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) was established on April 1 2013 as an Executive Non Departmental Public Body (ENDPB). It is England's trusted data source, delivering high quality information and IT systems to drive better patient services, care and outcomes. Its work includes publishing more than 130 statistical publications annually; providing a range of specialist data services; managing informatics projects and programmes and developing and assuring national systems against appropriate contractual, clinical safety and information standards.

2. NHS Stop Smoking Services: England, April 2012 - March 2013 presents results from the monitoring of the NHS Stop Smoking Services in England during the period April 2012 to March 2013. The report includes information on the number of quit dates set and the number of successful quit attempts at the four week follow-up. It also presents a more in depth analyses of the key measures of the service, including results for pregnant women, breakdowns by ethnic groups and type of pharmacotherapy received and regional analyses at Strategic Health Authority (SHA) and Primary Care Trust (PCT) levels.

3. Today's publication was delayed from its original intended publication date of the 15th of August to allow Manchester PCT additional time to resolve a data quality issue. Unfortunately, this issue was not possible to resolve. Therefore data returned by Manchester PCT for 2012/13 have not been included in this publication. Instead data returned by Manchester PCT for 2011/12 have been used as these are the most recent and reliable available and enable national reporting comparable with previous years.

4. It is possible that the same individual may make more than one quit attempt during the year. In such instances, the data providers are asked to record the details of each quit attempt for collection and analysis purposes. As the data is obtained via an aggregate, rather than a record-level collection, it is not possible to ascertain the number of individuals who do in fact make multiple quit attempts in the same year. This has been the situation consistently throughout the time series.

5. Figures have been rounded to the nearest 100.

6. A client is counted as a "successful quitter" if he/she self-reports that they have successfully quit smoking four weeks after setting a quit date. On the basis that the clinical viewpoint tends to be that a client should not be counted as a 'failure' if he/she has smoked in the difficult first days after the quit date, the definition allows for early relapses (within the first 2 weeks after setting a quit date) provided they have not smoked at all between the end of the first two weeks and the four week follow-up.

7. From April 2013 responsibility for NHS Stop Smoking Services moved from the Department of Health to Public Health England and responsibility for commissioning these services moved from PCTs to Local Authorities (LAs). Therefore from April 2013 the data will be collected and reported at LA level rather than by PCT and SHA. The report NHS Stop Smoking Services: England, April 2012 - March 2013 covers the period from April 2012 to March 2013 when PCTs were still in existence, so the data is presented by PCT. As PCT and LA boundaries are not coterminous, aggregate figures by region are presented in all geographic tables this year and next year to aid comparability.

8. For media enquiries please contact or 0845 257 6990.

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