Wiganers quitting the habit at last

Pack it in - smoking
Pack it in - smoking

MORE than 3,500 people in Wigan managed to quit smoking, according to latest figures.

A report released by the NHS Information Centre showed that more and more people than ever are quitting smoking in the borough.

Some 3,541 people (46 per cent) gave up smoking between April 2010 and March 2011 - the third highest number in the North West.

The figures also revealed that there were slightly more males than females quitting (1,783 men to 1,758 women) and that more people under the age of 34 quit than those aged between 34 and 60 and over 60.

The figures also showed that the PCT helped 100 women to quit smoking when pregnant although 112 did not manage to kick the habit.

However, while the figures are encouraging, they also reveal that nearly as many people failed to quit smoking as those who managed to. Some 3,416 people failed to quit according to the report.

A spokesman for NHS Ashton, Leigh and Wigan (NHSALW) said: “Ashton, Leigh and Wigan has a higher proportion of smokers at 26 per cent - more than both the North West 23.6 per cent and the England average of 22 per cent.

“Locally commissioned services are performing well in supporting individuals to quit smoking with national results showing that we are achieving quit rates above the North West average This not only applies to the general smoking population but also to pregnant females.

“The Stop Smoking Service has increased targets for this year and is currently achieving them.

“For individuals who prefer an alternative type of support GP practices and the borough’s pharmacy scheme are available, both of which allow individuals to access Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) at prescription costs.

“Given the impact of smoking on ill health and early mortality it will continue to be a key public health priority and we will work hard to ensure that we continue to promote smoking cessation and support our population to quit.”

Nationally the figures have revealed that three times as many people are trying to quit than there were 10 years ago.

NHS Information Centre chief executive Tim Straughan said: “NHS Stop Smoking Services in England saw more quit dates set with it in the last financial year than ever before.

“But while the number of attempts to successfully kick the habit have also risen, overall the success rate is hovering at just below half.”