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More smokers quit

PUBLISHED: 19:56 23 September 2009 | UPDATED: 15:06 03 July 2010

MORE than 35,000 people in Norfolk have quit smoking with help from the NHS in the past decade, new figures reveal.

Between 2006 and 2009 - the only years for which figures are available - 4,334 people in the NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney area successfully quit.

MORE than 35,000 people in Norfolk have quit smoking with help from the NHS in the past decade, new figures reveal.

Between 2006 and 2009 - the only years for which figures are available - 4,334 people in the NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney area successfully quit.

Figures from NHS Norfolk show that 63,933 people have used the NHS Norfolk stop smoking service, and of those 31,524 - nearly half - have successfully managed to quit.

The figures were revealed as NHS stop smoking services across England celebrated their 10-year anniversary. According to the Department of Health, they have recorded two million successful quit attempts and saved 70,000 lives.

The “lives saved” figure is based on a complicated mathematical formula taking into account relapse rates and life expectancy. No similar statistics were available at a local level.

Nationally the prevalence of smoking has fallen from 28 per cent to below 21pc of the general population. Norfolk, however, has one of the lowest rates in the county: 18.9pc.

Vicki Snelgrove, tobacco control commissioning advisor for NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney, said: “Fifty per cent of smokers die from their habit and 50pc of the smokers we help will quit - so we are saving hundreds of lives every year through our smoking cessation programmes.

“Many more lives are saved from one person quitting because the knock-on effects of a smoker are far-reaching: the second-hand smoke people inhale, the biological impacts on unborn children, and children who are raised in smoking households are far more likely to start themselves.

“Smoking affects not just that individual but the whole family and even the community and environment in which that person lives. You are four times more likely to quit if you do it through a stop smoking service than if you go it alone.”

Clive Slater, NHS Norfolk's tobacco control manager, said the stop smoking services had had a massive impact on the health of people in Norfolk.

The number of people reporting to acute hospitals for respiratory and cardiac incidents in the county had fallen as a result, he added.

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