HC Deb 20 April 2004 vol 420 cc410-1W
Sandra Gidley

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what programmes he has in place to encourage smoking cessation among the over-60s. [166010]

Miss Melanie Johnson

Our comprehensive tobacco control programme is aimed at all age groups, to reduce the numbers starting to smoke and to encourage those who smoke to stop. National Health Service stop smoking services are in place across the country to support smokers who want to quit. The services welcome people of all ages, and are widely available and accessible.

Standard 8 of the national service framework for older people provides a continuing commitment to the health and well being of older people. An increase in access to local NHS stop smoking services is one important component in extending healthy life expectancy in older people.

Between April and September 2003 over 23,300 smokers aged 60 or over set a date to quit smoking with the help of NHS stop smoking services and nearly 14,800 reported that they had successfully quit four weeks later. This means that an encouraging 63 per cent. in this age group were successful in quitting.