Stepping up: The response of stop smoking services in England to the COVID-19 pandemic



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This report, written in partnership with Cancer Research UK, examines the performance of stop smoking services in England during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The proportion of local authorities commissioning a specialist stop smoking service has risen year-on-year from 65% in 2018 and 69% in 2019 to 77% in 2020.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic forced local authorities to reconfigure their stop smoking services at an unprecedented speed. They adapted quickly and many found that smokers welcomed remote methods of engagement such as telephone consultations.
  • The impact of the pandemic on the NHS meant that NHS providers of stop smoking support could no longer offer the same level support. Many specialist stop smoking services and lifestyle services were able to pick up the demand that could not be met in primary care.
  • Four in five local authorities (82%) undertook communication specifically about smoking and the pandemic, assisted by the #QuitforCovid campaign and resources.

Download report.

 

Summary presentation

This presentation helpfully summarises the report’s key findings and recommendations for local authorities and provides links to practical resources with further information and support. This presentation can be helpfully shared with colleagues and used as the basis for discussion at tobacco control alliance meetings.

Download summary presentation