NHS smoking cessation services are unlikely to deliver national smoking targets unless more is done, according to a study.
It also found that government smoking targets are themselves insufficient for the poorest communities.
The study, published in the British Medical Journal, examined the effectiveness of NHS smoking cessation services in Northumberland and Tyne and Wear.
These areas have populations dominated by manual workers and contain some of the worst health and deprivation in the country.
The research showed that smoking cessation services in these areas for 2003-4 reduced smoking rates by between 0.1% and 0.3%.
The study predicted that, if the trend continued, Stop-Smoking Services would deliver less than 1% of the government’s 2010 target of a 5% fall in smoking prevalence.
Government targets on reducing smoking also ignored the health inequalities gap, said the report.
In California, heavy early investment in smoking cessa-tion services produced too disappointing results.
Buproprion and nicotine replacement therapy were among the most cost-effective treatments for individuals, but, the report said: “Comprehensive restriction of smoking in all workplaces works better.”