No Smoking Day trigger to quit before the ban. PCTs urged to support Stop Smoking Services.

Wednesday 14 March 2007

ASH news release: Embargo: 00:01 Wednesday 14th March 2007
Today’s No Smoking Day is expected to be one of the busiest ever as smokers seize the opportunity to quit prior to the ban on smoking in public places that will be coming into effect over the coming months. And evidence from Scotland shows that there will almost certainly be a greater demand on the services in the months leading up to the smoking ban. [1]

Responding to the Conservative Party’s criticism of the Primary Care Trusts for reducing their expenditure on helping people to stop smoking [2], ASH urged local health services to ensure the money allocated for the stop smoking services was not diverted elsewhere.

Deborah Arnott, Director of the health campaigning charity ASH, said:

“It is worrying that some PCTs are cutting back on their obligation to provide stop smoking services, especially at a time when there is likely to be an increase in demand. We urge PCTs to urgently review their budgets for the coming year and to step up provision of cessation services wherever possible. The forthcoming smoking ban will help motivate many smokers to give up their deadly habit but to increase their chances of success they also need the support of their local health services.”

Notes and links:

[1] In the three months before the introduction of the ban on smoking in public places in Scotland (on 26 March 2006), the number of people wanting to quit before the ban almost doubled in some parts of the country. Scotland’s largest service saw client numbers rise from 5,209 smokers in January to March 2005, to 7,476 in the period January to March 2006. Smoking Cessation Service Research Network

[2] Conservative Party press release 13 March 2007