3 Considerations

3 Considerations

PHIAC took account of a number of factors and issues in making the recommendations.

3.1 Organisations which encourage and support employees who smoke to quit will benefit from a more productive workforce, improvements in staff morale and a healthier, smokefree environment. They will also help to promote no smoking within society.

3.2 PHIAC has drawn on three sources of evidence to identify a wide range of proven smoking cessation interventions. These comprise: 'Cochrane reviews of smoking cessation'; reviews of effectiveness carried out for the NICE smoking cessation programme (currently in development); and the 'NICE evidence review for workplace interventions to promote smoking cessation'. Methods that have been proven to be effective in other settings also appear to be effective in the workplace.

3.3 Currently, smoking cessation services are least likely to attract people from sectors of the population where smoking rates are particularly high. If services fail to address this inequity adequately, health inequalities are likely to increase.

3.4 It often takes several attempts to quit smoking permanently and people need encouragement and support throughout this process. They also need congratulating once they have quit.

3.5 Based on experience in other countries where similar legislation has been introduced, NHS Stop Smoking Services will need advance notice of any media or public relations activities introduced in relation to the legislation.

In both the Republic of Ireland and Scotland, demand for help to stop smoking increased dramatically in response to publicity before the smokefree legislation came into force. However, it declined following implementation of the legislation. This suggests there may be an initial surge in demand from people who smoke in England. Services may wish to consider a range of approaches to meet this demand and so maximise the opportunity it offers to improve people's health. These could include providing on-site services and recruiting trained advisers who can offer support both in the workplace and the community.

3.6 It is important that the DH ensures that the database of NHS Stop Smoking Services is publicly available and is kept up to date. The services and their location need to be publicised so that employers can provide their employees with the help they need to quit.

3.7 PHIAC notes that employers may need encouragement to provide their employees with smoking cessation support. This may be achieved by persuading business leaders of the benefits of investing in employee health.