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Smoking Cessation & Treatment


This webpage is intended for health professionals and others seeking information about smoking cessation policy and development.  Smokers seeking help to quit should contact the NHS helpline on: 0300 123 1044 or email: www.nhs.uk/smokefree

Nicotine is extremely addictive and most smokers find it hard to give up without help. Only about 5% of unaided quit attempts result in smokers giving up for good but effective smoking cessation support can increase the chances of success more than fourfold.

Stop smoking support is a highly cost effective measure to improve health. In the UK, stopping smoking has been the single biggest factor in reducing deaths from heart disease, preventing nearly 30,000 heart disease deaths between 1981 and 2000.

The UK offers the world’s most comprehensive support for smokers to quit.  Stop Smoking Services have been established throughout the country and in England are now under local authority control. (Elsewhere in the UK they remain as part of the NHS.) These services offer practical support and pharmaceutical treatments on prescription to help smokers to give up. The NCSCT provides training and assessment programmes for stop smoking advisers, and conducts research into behavioural support for smoking cessation.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) issues guidance on smoking cessation. See below for links to NICE guidance relating to tobacco.

See also www.treatobacco.net  for further information on the latest smoking cessation guidance and treatment options.

Article 14 of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control requires nations that have ratified the treaty to develop evidence-based guidelines to promote smoking cessation and treat tobacco dependence amongst smokers who want to quit. Under Article 14, governments are required to ensure that smoking cessation treatment is accessible and affordable. Guidelines on implementing Article 14 have been adopted.

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