Treating Tobacco Dependency services helping people quit smoking in Lancashire and South Cumbria

Today is World No Tobacco Day (Friday 31 May), and marking the occasion Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB) is highlighting its Treating Tobacco Dependency services.

The recently-established services are available for all people admitted to hospital, pregnant women and people with mental illness.

It is estimated that currently around 15 per cent of adults in the region smoke, which is significantly higher than the 13 per cent smoking prevalence estimate for England. In some areas of Lancashire and South Cumbria, as many as one in five residents smoke.

One in four patients in hospital beds are smokers and all acute trusts in Lancashire and South Cumbria now provide services that offer inpatients with 12 weeks of free support to quit smoking, with access to nicotine replacement products and behavioural support.

Trevor Morris, the ICB’s Treating Tobacco Dependency programme manager, said: “Our local NHS is in a unique position to help support smokers who want to quit. Promoting smoking cessation is the most effective thing to improve health outcomes for our patients who smoke.

“It is also one of the most effective ways of triggering a quit attempt with nearly a third of smokers saying that a healthcare professional’s advice would prompt them to make a quit attempt.

“Reducing smoking among patients reduces hospital admissions, reduces the risk of premature death, and also leads to many benefits you might not realise – such as the effectiveness of some medications and increasing healing after operations.”

Stopping smoking during pregnancy is one of the most effective ways a mother can ensure a healthy start in life for their child. With 13.1 per cent of pregnant women within Lancashire and South Cumbria smoking at time of delivery, maternity Treating Tobacco Dependency services ensure all pregnant women will have free support to help them stop smoking.

People with mental health conditions die, on average, 10 to 20 years earlier than the general population, with smoking the single largest cause of this gap in life expectancy. An inpatient Treating Tobacco Dependency service is now being implemented at Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust – the region’s mental health trust – to provide specialist support to people with severe mental illness to quit smoking.

These services, coupled with local authority offers in the community, will help reduce the inter-generational cycle of tobacco harm, especially in our most deprived communities, by offering accessible stop smoking services to those who need them leading to smokefree homes, smokefree towns and a smokefree generation.

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