More than half of smokers trying to quit in Leeds manage to kick the habit

More than half of people in Leeds on a programme to quit smoking say they have managed to kick the habit.

NHS Digital data shows 1,089 people on the NHS Stop Smoking Service in the area set a date to quit between April and December last year.

At follow-up meetings held a month later, 606 said they had given up – 56 per cent.

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But the rate dropped to just 46 per cent when only counting those who confirmed this with a test to measure carbon monoxide levels in their bloodstream, which indicates tobacco use.

Someone is counted as having quit if they report that two weeks after their quit date they are no longer taking a puff.

The self-reported rate in Leeds was above the average of 51 per cent across England as a whole – this decreases to 36 per cent nationally for those tested.

In Leeds, £589,680 was allocated for stop smoking services in 2019-20, excluding the cost of medicines. This was down from £728,000 in 2014-15.

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Rachael Hodges, senior policy officer at the British Lung Foundation, said: “While face-to-face support has come to a halt due to Covid-19, many stop smoking services are continuing to provide behavioural support and stop smoking treatment remotely.

“We’d urge anyone looking to quit to search online for NHS smoke-free to find support near them.”

In Leeds, a higher proportion of men said they successfully spurned cigarettes, with 61 per cent quitting compared to 52 per cent of women.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokeswoman said smoking rates were at a record low level. She added: “However, we are not complacent and our ambition is for England to become a smoke-free society by 2030.”

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