Failure of quit smoking service strengthens calls for a new approach
New figures that show less than half of smokers succeed in quitting through NHS services have strengthened calls for a radical rethink of the UK’s failing approach to smoking cessation.
The NHS Information Centre announced today that 788,000 people used quit smoking services in England this year at a cost of £84.3m but more than half of them (384,000) returned to smoking shortly afterwards. Even among those who did quit, many are likely to have returned to smoking in the subsequent months.
The new figures prove that the quit smoking policy is failing to save a large proportion of smokers from the most harmful effects of cigarettes, according to leading UK electronic cigarette manufacturer E-Lites.
The company is calling for a closer look at the benefits of harm reduction, rather than a devotion to smoking cessation.
E-Lites director Dermot Ryan said: “What these new figures tell us is that while quitting services are helpful to many smokers, a majority of them are still not being helped. So perhaps it’s time to look at other options and consider the benefits of harm reduction. Products like E-Lites provide smokers with the nicotine they crave, but without the tar or tobacco that is present in normal cigarettes. We believe it’s a far more realistic approach for those who cannot quit, or do not wish to quit. If only more people realised the safer alternatives that are open to them.”