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Stop Smoking Services Under Threat from Public Health Cuts

January 14, 2016
Public Health

A new report published by Cancer UK has found that 40% of local authorities have cut or recommissioned stop smoking services in the past two years. The research carried out by anti-smoking charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), asked 126 local councils across the country about their smoking services, concentrating on changes that had occurred since the transfer to local government in 2013.

Three quarters of respondents admitted that the biggest difficulty in moving from primary care trusts was the pressure on tobacco control and smoking cessation budgets following the announcement of a 3.9% yearly cut over the next five years.

George Butterworth, Cancer Research UK’s tobacco policy manager, is concerned that without the necessary finance, services will continue to suffer. “We’re urging local government to remain committed to reducing smoking rates, and for national leadership to keep this issue on the agenda,” he said. “These services are under threat from a lack of sustainable funding. The government must establish a sustainable funding model for local tobacco control and stop smoking services before they are eroded further.”

Despite the pressure on budgets, 59% of respondents were still positive about the future of tobacco control services, while 86% said they had made constructive relationships with other council departments.

You can view the ASH report ‘Reading Between The Lines’ HERE