Redbridge counts the cost of quitting

Redbridge Council spent almost £5,000 for every smoker they helped quit between April and December last year.

Figures released by the NHS show the council spent £197,975 on its stop smoking service during the period, including almost £50,000 on aids like nicotine gum, patches and sprays. 

However, only 41 Redbridge residents reported that they quit through the service, meaning the total cost of the service per quitter was £4,828.65.

This is out of 139 smokers who actively set a date to quit in that period, meaning less than a third succeeded.

By contrast, from April to December 2016, the council spent £206,191 on the service and helped 550 quit, a cost of £375 per successful quitter.

Cllr Mark Santos (Lab and Co-op, Hainault), responsible for health, social care, mental health and aging, said the council “accepts the figures presented”.

He said: “It’s important to stress they relate to a period when we didn’t have a comprehensive smoking cessation service in place. We now have a provider in place.”

He added: “With summer now in full swing and the outdoors beckoning, there has never been a better time to quit smoking and help reduce your risk of serious illness. Quitting will also drastically improve your overall health and wellbeing

“It’s worth noting that Public Health England recently confirmed that if you smoke, coronavirus symptoms may be more severe.”

He encouraged smokers interested in quitting to call 0333 005 0095 or email [email protected]

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Victoria Munro

Local Democracy Reporter