Giving up 'the fags' gets easier with age

Wed, 11/09/2019 - 16:25 -- Editor

The Department of Health today published statistical tables relating to Smoking Cessation Services for 2018/19.

The statistical tables provide 4-week follow-up information on people reporting to Smoking Cessation Services during the year 2018/19, in addition to figures for the 52-week follow-up of people who signed up to the programme in 2017/18.

Key Findings

  • A total of 13,860 people set a quit date through the smoking cessation services in 2018/19. This is a decrease of 1,601 (10%) on the previous year. There has been a decline in the number of people accessing smoking cessation services over the last five years, from 21,779 in 2014/15. Cigarette smoking prevalence has also fallen over a similar time period from 22% in 2014/15 to 18% in 2017/18 (source: Health Survey Northern Ireland).
  • Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) was the most popular therapeutic intervention, with 70% of those who set a quit date having used this therapy.
  • At the 4-week follow-up 8,032 people (58% of those setting a quit date) reported that they had successfully quit. The quit rate has remained broadly similar over the last five years.
  • The 4-week success rate was 60% for males and 56% for females.
  • Of the 240 young people (aged 11 to 17) who set a quit date, 38% reported to have successfully quit at the 4-week follow-up, 42% indicated that they were still smoking, and 21% could not be contacted for the follow-up.
  • Success at 4 weeks increased with age, from 38% for those aged 11 to 17, to 62% for those aged 60 and over.
  • A third (31%) of the 13,606 adults who set a quit date were from the most deprived quintile while a further quarter (24%) were from the second most deprived quintile. This compares with one in ten (10%) from the least deprived quintile. The 4-week success rate was 56% for those in the most deprived quintile compared with 63% in the least deprived quintile.
  • Mirroring the overall pattern, 31% of the 771 women who were recorded as being pregnant were from the most deprived quintile compared with 8% from the least deprived quintile. At the 4-week follow-up, 61% of pregnant women reported to have successfully quit, 25% had not quit, and 14% were not able to be contacted.
  • At the 52-week follow-up of those that had quit at 4 weeks in 2017/18, over a third (37%) reported still being tobacco free, while a quarter (25%) had resumed smoking, and a further 38% could not be contacted.