NICE to produce guidance to tackle smoking
NICE is to produce a range of public health guidance to encourage people to give up smoking, after the Department of Health announced the latest topics to be referred to our work programme.
Each year the Department of Health commissions NICE to develop clinical guidelines, guidance on public health and technology appraisals on a whole host of different topics suggested by clinicians, patients, the public and anyone else who is interested in our work.
The final choice of topics is based on a number of factors, including how many people are affected by the condition, the cost impact to the NHS or public sector, whether the topic falls within a government priority area or if there is variation in practice across the country.
This year, NICE has been asked to produce public health guidance on the development and implementation of policies on smoke free homes and smoke free private cars and other vehicles; public health guidance for primary care trusts (PCTs) and Local Authorities on multi agency partnership working to combat markets in illicit tobacco products; and guidance for retail and community pharmacists and other retailers on providing support and information to customers buying over-the-counter (OTC) nicotine replacement products.
NICE will also update existing guidance on technologies used in smoking cessation, produce public health guidance for PCTs and NHS smoking cessation services on the use of harm reduction approaches to smoking cessation, and produce guidance for secondary care providers on smoking cessation services for patients in hospital and in the community with long term and chronic conditions.
Andrew Dillon, chief executive of NICE, welcomes the latest referrals and believes that the topics all “address areas of significant concern for those working in the NHS, patients and carers”.
“We know that smoking is the biggest risk factor for cancer and contributes to one in four cancer deaths in the UK. The NHS spends billions of pounds each year on treating smoking-related diseases.
“NICE has been asked to produce seven public health guidelines to help tackle the issue of smoking using a number of different approaches which evidence suggests could contribute to reducing the number of deaths from smoking.”
Our Citizens Council, a group which brings the views of the public to NICE's decision-making, has already recommended in favour of the use of harm reduction as a way to reduce the dangers of smoking. The Citizens Council's view will feed into the development of the public health guidance for PCTs and NHS smoking cessation services on the use of harm reduction approaches to smoking cessation, says Mr Dillon.
Martin Dockrell, director of research and policy at the anti-tobacco charity ASH, adds: “NICE has real authority among health professionals so we are extremely pleased to hear about the range of guidance that is to be published.
“In tackling harm reduction, smokeless tobacco, smuggling and smokefree vehicles, NICE is uniquely placed to identify the latest evidence to support effective local responses.”
Away from the focus on tackling smoking, NICE has been asked to try and improve donor identification and consent rates for cadaveric organ donation.
“Producing a short clinical guideline on improving donor identification and consent rates for cadaveric organ donation could help to address the shortage of donor organs in this country. Currently, demand for organ donors far outstrips supply,” says Mr Dillon.
Additionally, NICE will produce three other short clinical guidelines covering the management of sickle cell disease in hospital, phosphate management in dialysis patients and the safe and effective prescribing of strong opioids in palliative care for adults.
The Department of Health has also asked NICE to produce clinical guidelines on the diagnosis and management up to the point of dialysis for acute kidney injury, the diagnosis and management of suspected idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis - a progressive form of lung disease, and the management of varicose veins.
Guidelines will be produced on the recognition and management of schizophrenia presenting before the age of 18 years, and to produce a clinical guideline on the diagnosis and treatment of social phobia (Social Anxiety Disorder).
NICE will also work in collaboration with the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) to develop a guideline on the recognition, identification and management of conduct disorder in children and young people.
“We are now keen to begin developing guidance that will help to inform decisions about treatment and healthcare in these areas as soon as possible, and will publish details of the timetables for these topics on our web site shortly,” adds Mr Dillon.
This page was last updated: 16 April 2010