Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

10% more people try to quit smoking

The NHS in Northern Ireland recorded an increase in the number of people attempting to quit smoking

There has been a 10% jump in the number of people in Northern Ireland trying to quit smoking through the NHS, new figures have revealed.

The health service data showed more than half were successful over the past year, while others had either cut down or planned to make a fresh attempt to quit.

The figures for 2009/10 showed 23,383 people set a quit date through the health service smoking cessation services, which was an increase of 2,111 on the previous year.

Experts, who carry out a four-week follow-up with participants, found 12,042 said they had successfully quit. The figures also showed 320 young people aged 11 to 16 joined the scheme to quit smoking.

A total of 35% reported to have successfully quit at a four-week follow-up, 43% indicated they were still smoking, and 21% were not able to be contacted for the follow-up.

There were 616 women who were recorded as being pregnant, with 53% reported to have successfully quit at the four-week follow-up, 32% had not quit, and 15% were not able to be contacted.

Across the scheme, most of those trying to quit were aged 18-34 (35%), 2% were under 18, 23% were aged 35-44, 25% were aged 45-59, and 13% were aged 60 and over.

The Health Service said Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) was the most popular drug therapy, with 54% of those who set a quit date opting for it.

The four-week success rates were similar for males and females (53% and 50% respectively). In general, success at four weeks increased with age, from 35% for the under-18s to 56% for those aged 60 and over.

After the first month of the programme, 32% said they had failed to quit smoking, but of that figure, 54% had reduced their smoking intake and 37% planned to rejoin the smoking cessation programme.

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