COMMENT: Money well spent helping people quit the weed

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There’s quite a high cost involved when it comes to helping people quit the evil weed but it’s definitely worth it.

It’s very easy to condemn smokers and of course the latest ‘thumbs down’ is now being aimed at vapers, but people are people and have been smoking for centuries throughout the world and it doesn’t seem likely it will ever be completely eradicated.

We all know it’s habit forming and the craving for that blast of nicotine is the be all and end all for smokers so anything that can help wean them off tobacco is to be welcomed.

The latest data from NHS Digital showed Portsmouth City Council helped 382 people stop smoking between April last year and March.

According to the figures, the local authority allocated £55,000 to help people quit the habit. This amount did not include treatment using pharmaceutical drugs.

The information from NHS Digital also showed the council’s one-to-one support had a 70 per cent success rate in helping people stop with 497 people accessing the service and 346 people quitting 

However, on the other hand telephone support only had a 13 per cent success rate so that proves the one-to-one approach really works and must continue.

Dr Jason Horsley, Portsmouth City Council’s director of public health, says that in 2015, the cost of smoking to the NHS alone was estimated at £2.6bn, so spending money to help people stop makes sense.

Wise words indeed because that £2.6bn could be used for, say, better A&E facilities or even a much-needed pay boost for our hard-working and often overstretched NHS staff.

Again, it’s good to see money being spent on a worthy cause and we must simply hope austerity measures don’t stub out the available resources so more smokers and hopefully prolong their  lives.