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Projected service use and outcomes in 3--5 years and 5--10 years

Background papers: Lifestyle and wider determinants :: Smoking and tobacco control [Update in progress] :: Projected service use and outcomes in 3--5 years and 5--10 years

We expect the current trend in prevalence in Medway to continue to follow England's downward trend.

However, the prevalence and rate of reduction varies widely across Medway and between groups within Medway, for example there is a far lower prevalence in managerial and professional groups than routine and manual groups. The reduction in routine and manual groups therefore needs to be greater if the gap is to be narrowed.

Services will therefore need to be concentrated in areas that are most accessible for those groups that will continue to have a higher than average smoking prevalence, including routine and manual groups, geographical areas of high deprivation, offenders and mental health in-patients.

The Department of Health estimates nationally that 67% of smokers want to quit. As smoking is de-normalised in Medway, more people are likely to want to quit and there is therefore likely to be an increase in smoking cessation service need over the next 10 years.

As noted earlier, while the smoking cessation service is a highly cost-effective intervention, it is clear that this can only be one part of a comprehensive programme. A Smokefree Future: A Comprehensive Tobacco Control Strategy for England [1] describes the other two objectives as 'stopping the inflow of young people recruited as smokers' and 'protecting families and communities from tobacco-related harm'.

Nationally, as the number of smokers reduces and there is less smoking-related morbidity, the average associated health care costs will fall. As smoking prevalence in Medway continues to reduce, there is likely to be a continued reduction in overall healthcare service use and costs associated with smoking if this continues. The cost to the NHS of smoking-related illnesses in the UK has been estimated at between £2.7 billion and £5.2 billion.[2][3]


References

[1]   Department of Health. A Smokefree Future: A Comprehensive Tobacco Control Strategy for England 2010; Department of Health. http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_124917 .
[2]   Action on Smoking and Health. The Cost of Smoking to the NHS 2008; Action on Smoking and Health. http://www.ash.org.uk/files/documents/ASH_694.pdf .
[3]   Allender S, Balakrishnan R, Scarborough P, et al. The burden of smoking-related ill health in the UK Tobacco Control 2009; 18: 262-267.