Thousands of people in England are not getting the personalised support they need to quit smoking, a study has suggested, with northern parts of England among the worst places in the UK to get dedicated quitting support.
The study by vaping retailer Vapekit analysed 2021 data on smoking rates from every clinical commissioning group (CCG) in England, benchmarked against the number of locally commissioned stop smoking support services in each area.
This found nearly half a million adult smokers in England had no access to local stop-smoking support at all.
Ealing, Wolverhampton, Bolton, and North Tyneside were among 12 CCG areas that did not have any locally commissioned stop-smoking support services.
Some of the worst places to get stop-smoking help included Birmingham city region, which didn’t have any locally commissioned stop-smoking support services. The Birmingham and Solihull region had only one, for 173,743 smokers.
Leeds also had one such service, for 128,874 smokers, as did Liverpool, for 90,321 smokers. This compared to two services each in central and west London, which have 68,371 smokers between them
Of the 10 best areas in England, eight were in the south and Midlands, while only two – West Lancashire and Southport and Formby – were in the north.
Among the best places to stop smoking, by smoking population and number of stop smoking services, were: West Sussex (108,569; six) and Bath and north east Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire (111,704; five).
Although numbers have been falling steadily in recent years, the experience of the pandemic and successive lockdowns led to a sharp rise in ‘stress smoking’.
It is estimated around 10.7% of the British adult population, or some six million people, still regularly smoke cigarettes, according to the independent smoking review, led by Javed Khan, which reported to government earlier this month.