NICE guidance can help stub out smoking
NICE's public health guidance can help local communities take an evidence-based approach to reducing smoking rates, according to the government's tobacco control plan.
The plan Healthy Lives, Healthy People was published last week and sets out how local communities can take a leading role in reducing smoking rates in England over the next five years.
The Tobacco Control Plan aims to cut smoking rates among adults from 21.2 per cent to 18.5 per cent or less, from 15 to 12 per cent or less among 15 year olds, and from 14 to 11 per cent or less among pregnant mothers.
To help achieve this reduction, the plan outlines action to end the eye catching tobacco displays used in shops to encourage young people to start smoking.
Other key actions in the plan include making tobacco less affordable; providing effective regulation of tobacco products; reducing exposure to second-hand smoke; helping tobacco users to quit; and effective communications for tobacco control.
NICE will play a key role in helping smokers to quit by producing guidance for commissioners and providers on delivering cessation services for users of smokeless tobacco, to be published in autumn 2012.
Further guidance from NICE will be published in 2013 on smoking cessation services provided by NHS secondary care providers, and on the use of harm reduction approaches to smoking cessation.
This will sit alongside a number of existing pieces of guidance, such as quitting smoking in pregnancy and workplace interventions to promote smoking cessation, that can be used by local communities to encourage people to quit smoking.
Health secretary Andrew Lansley said: “Smoking is undeniably one of the biggest and most stubborn challenges in public health. Over eight million people in England still smoke and it causes more than 80,000 deaths each year.
“Smoking affects the health of smokers and their families. My ambition is to reduce smoking rates faster over the next five years than has been achieved in the past five years.
“We want to do everything we can to help people to choose to stop smoking and encourage young people not to start smoking in the first place. We will help local communities to take a comprehensive approach to reducing smoking so we can change social attitudes to smoking.”
Professor Dame Sally Davies, the Chief Medical Officer for England, said:“The measures announced will help reduce smoking rates, protect children from being tempted to start smoking and help adults who are trying to quit.”
15 March 2011