In response to the news that fewer smokers are using the NHS in England to try to quit, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter OBE, highlighted the importance of smoking cessation services.
Dr Carter said: ‘Although the number of people using the NHS in England to stop smoking has fallen, the rise in people successfully quitting is encouraging.
‘Cutbacks to the NHS mean there is a chance promotion of smoking cessation services have reduced, and people aren’t aware of smoking cessation help as they used to be. The People’s Billions, No Smoking Day, Stoptober and Mouth Cancer Action Month are just a few annual campaigns that raise awareness of the risks posed by smoking.
‘Evidence suggests smokers are far more likely to quit with help than without, a fact that highlights the importance of these services.
‘Over the last few years we have seen a fall in the number of people smoking. As it is a lifestyle habit, some people will just not give it up. The number of young people who have admitted to smoking (23 per cent) is actually higher than the number of adults who smoke (19.5 per cent), so collectively we must continue to educate people about the risks posed when they smoke.
‘If we want to really make a difference to the number of people who smoke and who kick the habit, introducing plain packaging on tobacco products is a must.’