Are NHS stop smoking services really working?

More Brits than ever before are trying to give up smoking thanks to NHS stop-smoking services, a report has revealed.

NHS stop smoking services
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Over the last decade the number of attempts has almost trebled, yet despite smokers' good intentions, only half succeed in quitting.

According to the NHS Information Centre, a total of 788,000 people set 'quit dates' via the service in 2010/11 but only 384,000 (49 per cent) managed the four smoke-free weeks deemed a successful attempt.

Back in 2001/02, only 227,000 made the decision to stop smoking with help from the NHS but 53 per cent succeeded.

However, the money spent on NHS stop smoking services in England has risen by more than £20 million, from £60 million just over 10 years ago, to £84.3 million last year.

And the report revealed the number of smokers in Britain remains largely unchanged, with 22 per cent of men and 20 per cent of women still puffing.

Tim Straughan, chief executive of the NHS Information Centre, said: "NHS Stop Smoking Services in England saw more quit dates set with it in the last financial year than ever before; and indeed the greatest ever number of successful quit attempts.

"But while a bigger number of quit dates are being set with the service and the number of attempts to successfully kick the habit have also risen, overall the success rate is hovering at just below half."

A spokesman for the Department of Health admitted smoking remained one of the biggest challenges facing the NHS.

What do you think - have NHS stop smoking services encouraged you to kick the habit? Leave your comments below...