By Robert Everitt
Blog 10 March 2021

According to the British Lung Foundation, every year fewer patients are being given treatments to help them to quit smoking. In 2008 in England, there was a 75% decline in stop smoking treatments being prescribed by GPs and pharmacists. In Wales the number of treatments fell by more than two thirds and Scotland saw a 40% decline.1

Tobacco dependency costs the NHS £2.5 billion each year and more than £760 million to local authorities from smoking related needs. Sadly, smoking remains the largest cause of preventable death in England.

Research shows that the most effective treatment to help people to stop smoking alongside medication is behavioural support. NICE guidance states that all smokers should have access to stop smoking support where they can receive clinically effective support based on their own needs and preferences.

We’ve launched a smoking cessation pathway in partnership with Health Call which guides and prompts patients to quite the habit. Developed by Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust, the service identifies smokers and refers them onto appropriate stop smoking support.

How does the service work?

Patients discharged from hospital are asked if they smoke and all smokers are uploaded onto the service. Patients are sent a series of motivational support messages and are directed to stop smoking support. The messages are received over a 6 month period and at the end of the programme patients are asked if they have stopped smoking.

Patients are contacted via SMS meaning the service is easy to use for all.

For more information on our digital smoking cessation service, please get in touch.


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