HC Deb 05 April 2001 vol 366 cc266-7W
Dr. Harris

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the investment in smoking cessation services set up following the White Paper, Smoking Kills. [153440]

Yvette Cooper

£10 million was invested in 1999–2000 in the 26 Health Action Zones to develop National Health Service smoking cessation services. During the first year 5,800 clients had successfully quit at four-week follow up. This represented 39 per cent. of clients setting a quit date, as against our target based on research evidence of an achievable average rate of 26 per cent.

In 2000–01 all health authorities in England were funded to provide smoking cessation services. In the first two quarters of the year there were 12,900 clients who had successfully quit at four-week follow-up. This represented 40 per cent. of those setting a quit date.

We are also making smoking cessation aids available on the NHS to help smokers to quit. The new smoking cessation aid, Zyban, has been available on NHS prescription since June 2000, and we have recently announced that nicotine replacement therapy will also be available on NHS prescription in April 2001. Both these aids to smoking cessation are proven to be effective and cost effective in helping smokers to quit.

We have commissioned research into the effectiveness of the NHS smoking cessation services to inform future developments in this area.