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New data reveals smokers need more support to quit


Nearly one million smokers in England would have been helped to quit smoking if funding for stop smoking services had been maintained, reports the Taskforce for Lung Health, of which PCRS is a member.

The analysis comes from a new Data Tracker, developed by the Taskforce, which makes statistics about the nation’s lung health publicly available in one place for the first time.

In recent years government funding for stop smoking services has been slashed and in the current financial year, 35% of local authorities report having a lower budget than the previous year.

The Data Tracker has been launched alongside a One Year On report , which outlines the progress the Taskforce has made in working to implement its five year plan to improve the nation’s lung health.

One of the plan’s recommendations is that high-quality stop smoking services should be funded and made accessible to everyone who wants to quit.

This data highlights the importance of primary healthcare professionals using every opportunity to help their patients to stop smoking, says PCRS Policy Lead Noel Baxter.

A series of case studies in the PCRS Guide to Tobacco Dependency demonstrate how healthcare professionals can help different ‘smoker types’ to quit smoking.

It explains for example the importance of performing a VBA when Nancy, a 52-year-old woman, comes to the clinic to discuss a diagnosis of acid reflux made during a 24-hour hospital admission with chest pain.

Another case study explains how to raise the issue of smoking with Karen, a 32-year-old mother of two, who presents with candida.  She is pregnant with her third child and has children at home.

The Tobacco Dependency Guide and related online resources explains how to routinely identify smokers, encourage and support a quit attempt.

Noel says: “Whilst we await a response to this call to re-institute and improve stop smoking services there are still opportunities that we can take in primary and community care to have an impact and they genuinely do not need to take long. The ’smoker type’ cases show you when your clinical pathway needs to include a tobacco dependency intervention and maps out what you can do whether you have 30 secs or a whole 10 minute dedicated appointment for the intervention.”