JUST 12 per cent of Wigan’s smokers using the NHS Stop Smoking Service actually kicked the habit latest figures show.
Data released by the NHS Information Centre this week revealed that just 842 people that set a ‘quit date’ with the service were actually validated as having quit when they underwent Carbon Monoxide (CO) testing.
The figures relate to data collected between April and December 2011 and during those dates 5,268 took up help through the service and set a date that they would smoke their final cigarette.
After four weeks nearly half of those told the service, run by Ashton, Leigh and Wigan Primary Care Trust, they had successfully managed to give up, while 2,166 had not managed to quit and 659 were lost to the service completely.
As part of the NHS service carbon monoxide monitoring of clients is considered as an important tool for motivational and verification purposes.
But just 12 per cent of those that joined up to the service were actually able to be confirmed as having quit by the CO validation test.
Wigan Borough’s Director of Public Health, Dr Kate Ardern, said: “Quitting smoking is the biggest and best single thing you can do to improve your health. We recognise that smoking is a problem in Wigan.
“It’s an alarming statistic but more than 500 people a year in our borough die as the result of smoking related ill-health.
“NHS Ashton, Leigh and Wigan has a well-established Stop Smoking service which offers free professional advice and practical, non-judgemental support.
“It offers smokers help every step of the way and gives assistance that will help people who are serious about stopping smoking, stay stopped.
“The key to stopping smoking is a positive mental attitude and it is very pleasing to see that more than half of people who made the commitment to quit still classed themselves as non-smokers a month later.
“We appreciate that people may have lapses which is why it is so important that those who want to give up get professional advice.”
There are many ways to access the Stop Smoking Service, including visiting your local GP surgery to find out more about it.
The First Stop Health Bus, which is at the Asda Robin Park every Thursday between noon and 3pm up until June 28, offers free help and advice on how to stop smoking.