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£20,000 per quitter: the price of stop smoking services revealed

June 22, 2020

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New data from the NHS has shown that tens of thousands of pounds are being spent by councils to get just one person to quit smoking.

According to new figures supplied to Vape Business by BAT’s Vype brand, budgets for stop smoking services have, in recent years, soared by up to 20 times while demand has dwindled. While more than 250,000 smokers accessed stop smoking services in 2016, last year this figure was just 80,000 – a decline of 70 percent.

In the London Borough of Brent, just five smokers successfully quit smoking through using its stop smoking service. Yet with a budget of £101,733 during the same time, this means the ‘cost-per-quitter’ was £20,354.60.

Another local authority, Redbridge Council, recorded 41 successful quitters and, with a budget of £197,975, this calculated as £4,828,65 per quitter.

Both authorities were contacted by Vape Business but did not respond. The data is reproduced in full below.

Commenting on the revelations, Gareth Johnson MP, vice chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Vaping and Member of Parliament for Dartford said it showed how alternative forms of cessation aids needed to be more central to the government’s efforts to lower smoking rates:

He said: “We need to be more positive about vaping. This latest NHS data further demonstrates the positive role of vaping on our nation’s health. Not only are e-cigarettes helping record numbers of smokers to quit because they’re more effective than traditional patches and gums, but they can also save the NHS, local councils and the taxpayer money if more widely used as part of local stop smoking services. This is an open goal and we should be doing everything we can to ensure that e-cigarettes are more accessible to the UK’s seven million remaining smokers.”

The government has a stated aim of being “smoke free” by 2030, meaning under five percent of the population use tobacco products.

 

Regional data 

Region 

2016 average cost per successful quitter  

2019 average cost per successful quitter

Percentage difference over three years 

London

£576[19]

£1,477[20]

+ 156%

Standout Local Authority: Brent

£812[21]

£20,355[22]

+ 2,047%

Standout Local Authority: Redbridge

£375[23]

£4,829[24]

+ 1,188%

 

North East

£579[25]

£671[26]

+ 16%

Standout Local Authority: Northumberland

£705[27]

£1,075[28]

+ 52%

Standout Local Authority: Darlington

£365[29]

£682 [30]

+ 87%

 

Other data of note

2016 average cost per successful quitter  

2019 average cost per successful quitter

Percentage difference over three years 

Southampton

£470[31]

£794[32]

+ 69%

Kent

£352[33]

£598[34]

+ 70%

Hertfordshire

£292[35]

£745[36]

+ 155%

Worcestershire

£444[37]

£952[38]

+ 115 %

Telford & Wrekin

£450[39]

£901[40]

+ 100%

Derbyshire

£412[41]

£854[42]

+ 107%

 

  1. [1] https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/statistics-on-nhs-stop-smoking-services-in-england/april-2019-to-december-2019
  2. [1] https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/statistics-on-nhs-stop-smoking-services-in-england/april-2019-to-december-2019
  3. [1] NHS data 2019 (see footnote 1), excel spreadsheet, table 4.10 
  4. [1] https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/statistics-on-nhs-stop-smoking-services-in-england/statistics-on-nhs-stop-smoking-services-england-april-2016-to-december-2016
  5. [1] https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/statistics-on-nhs-stop-smoking-services-in-england/april-2019-to-december-2019
  6. [1] NHS data 2019 (see footnote 1), excel spreadsheet, table 4.10 
  7. [1] https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/statistics-on-nhs-stop-smoking-services-in-england/statistics-on-nhs-stop-smoking-services-england-april-2016-to-december-2016
  8. [1] NHS data 2019 (see footnote 1), excel spreadsheet, table 4.10
  9. 9 NHS data 2016 (see footnote 4), excel spreadsheet, table 4.10[1] https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/statistics-on-nhs-stop-smoking-services-in-england/april-2019-to-december-2019
  10. [1] https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/statistics-on-nhs-stop-smoking-services-in-england/statistics-on-nhs-stop-smoking-services-england-april-2016-to-december-2016
  11. [1] https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/statistics-on-nhs-stop-smoking-services-in-england/statistics-on-nhs-stop-smoking-services-england-april-2011-to-december-2011-q3-quarterly-report
  12. [1]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/healthandlifeexpectancies/bulletins/adultsmokinghabitsingreatbritain/2018
  13. [1]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/healthandlifeexpectancies/bulletins/adultsmokinghabitsingreatbritain/2018
  14. [1]Queen Mary University, 30 January 2019 E-cigarettes more effective than nicotine replacement therapies, finds major UK clinical trial
  15. https://ash.org.uk/media-and-news/press-releases-media-and-news/in-2019-around-half-as-many-britons-now-vape-as-smoke-and-the-majority-are-ex-smokers/
  16. https://ash.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/E-Cigarettes-Briefing_PDF_v1.pdf
  17. Queen Mary University, 30 January 2019 E-cigarettes more effective than nicotine replacement therapies, finds major UK clinical trial
  18. https://www.govype.com/gb/en/