2.8k vowed to give up cigarettes last year

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Nearly 3,000 people set quit dates through smoking cessation services in the North West last year, new data show.

Yet for some the spirit was willing but the flesh proved weak and after four weeks only 60 per cent of those who said they would give up cigarettes had managed to kick the habit.

The new data from the Department of Health show that 2,808 (20 per cent) of the 13,860 people across the North who vowed to give up tobacco last year were smokers from the Western Trust.

However, under two thirds of these had successfully quit after a month, the statistics show.

Twenty-two per cent, meanwhile, reported that they were still smoking after a month while the status of 19 per cent of the 2,808 was unknown or “lost to follow-up”.

The quit rate in the Western Trust was marginally better than the 58 per cent reported across the health service as a whole.

Young adults and middle-aged people made up the highest proportion of would-be quitters in the North West.

For example, 24 per cent of the 2,808 to set a smoking deadline were aged between 18 and 34; a further 24 per cent were aged between 35 and 44; and 32 per cent were in the 45 to 59 age group.

Nineteen per cent of the smokers were over 60 years of age while only one per cent were in the 11 to 17 age bracket.

The figures released by the Department provide details on 69 women in the Western Trust who self-reported that they were pregnant at the time of setting a quit date or at the four week follow-up in 2018/19.

Thirty-eight of these (55 per cent) had successfuly quit by four weeks; 20 (29 per cent) had not quit; and for 11 (16 per cent) the outcome was not known. Across all smoking cessation services across all health care authorities last year Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) was the most popular therapeutic intervention, with 70 per cent of those who set a quit date having used this therapy.