Figures show borough smokers find it hard to quit

Wiganers are finding it harder to quit the deadly weed than most
Wiganers are finding it harder to quit the deadly weed than most

Just four out of 10 people using the NHS Stop Smoking Service in the borough managed to quit, latest figures show.

In the 12 months from April 2017 to March this year, 2,015 people in the Wigan borough signed up with the NHS Stop Smoking Service and set themselves a date to quit.

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At follow-up meetings four weeks later, 866 people said they had continued to abstain, according to data from NHS England.

That’s 43 per cent, which is below the average rate for England of 51 per cent during the period.

The North West average was 47 per cent.

The success rate is based on self-reported results of people who said that they hadn’t had a puff for two weeks since their quit date.

But 25 per cent of those who set a date proved they’d kicked the habit by having a test that checks carbon monoxide in their bloodstream.

The Stop Smoking Service has been provided by local authorities rather than the NHS since 2013. It offers counselling, medicines to help nicotine cravings and some people use over-the-counter products.

The data shows 69 quitters succeeded with a cold turkey approach with no chemical substitutes for cigarettes.

Latest figures from Public Health England show 16 per cent of the adult population of Wigan are smokers.

The number of people using the service across the country has been falling, although it went up compared to the previous 12 months in Wigan.

Martin Dockrell, tobacco control lead at PHE said: “If you’re not a smoker, don’t start and don’t vape. If you’re a smoker, quit now and consider using an e-cigarette as an aid. Using an e-cigarette along with support from your local stop smoking service gives you the best chance of quitting successfully.”

The data shows that, in Wigan, men had more success than women, with 44 per cent quitting compared to 42 per cent of women.

The services also record if women were pregnant when they signed up, and the figures show that 36 per cent of them managed to stop smoking.

Older people had a higher quit rate than younger ones. In Wigan, the most successful age group was 60 and over with a success rate of 51 per cent. For 18 to 34-year-olds it was 33.

Some councils no longer provide the services and some did not supply complete data. Of the 141 that did, the highest quit rate was 80 per cent in Croydon and the lowest 24 per cent in Cumbria.