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New paths and pathways: Tobacco control and stop smoking services in English local authorities in 2022

Feb 2023
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ASH's annual survey of local government public health teams, funded by Cancer Research UK, finds NHS investment in new inpatient treatment for smokers is strongly supported by local government.

Key findings from the survey:

  • Most surveyed local authorities (86%) were involved in the planning and roll-out of new NHS tobacco dependence treatment services, though some local authorities were much more engaged than others. In some areas, local authorities were leading the implementation process.
  • Many survey respondents were optimistic about the opportunity of the roll-out of NHS tobacco dependence treatment services to reach more smokers and to create a more integrated service across the NHS and community. However, some expressed concern that new NHS services could place a burden on community services that local authorities would struggle to meet.
  • The impact of the NHS tobacco dependence treatment services on local authority stop smoking services is likely to be complex and variable across the country. Some local authorities reported an increase in demand, others a decrease. In most areas, impacts were yet to be felt.
    In the areas where lung health checks have been implemented, 73% of local authorities reported an increase in demand on community stop smoking services. None reported a decrease in demand.
  • A majority of surveyed local authorities (52%) offered vapes or e-cigarettes to users of stop smoking services. They were provided directly or via vouchers or other arrangements with vape shops.
  • One third of surveyed local authorities (33%) do not commission a universal specialist stop smoking service and two authorities no longer commission any support for smokers.