Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Scottish Government excited by numbers attempting to quit smoking (success rate still 6 per cent)

The story is here. Numbers attempting to stop smoking in Scotland were up from 83,952 in 2010 to over 108,000 last year, but the twelve-month quit rate was down to 6 per cent, from 7 per cent in 2010. It is tempting to state that the Government regards this as good news since they value the use of NHS services (perhaps especially those involving the use of smoking cessation medication) more highly than people successfully succeeding in their goal of stopping smoking. Matheson declares: 'Last year a record 40,000 people were smoke-free after one month', without declaring how many were known to fall off the wagon over the next 48 weeks.
"We know that giving up can be tough but smokers are four times more likely to quit successfully with support from NHS stop smoking services." [Vicky Crichton, CRUK] 
Several years ago I spent some time collaborating with hypnotherapist Chris Holmes on this 'four times more likely to quit' nonsense. He lists his evidence here, and points out:
Notice how Amanda Sandford from Cash In On Smoking And Health (A.S.H.) tries to suggest that there is convincing evidence to the contrary. This is because A.S.H. is operating entirely to support drug company products in the smoking cessation field, that is all they do. They hammer on and on about “nicotine addiction” and got into legal trouble when they tried to rubbish success claims for the Allen Carr (non-drug) method. None of the drug company products have ever achieved the success rate that Allen Carr’s Easyway International Group proved in court (53%), and A.S.H. were forced to apologise and pay Easyway’s costs, YET THEY DO NOT ENDORSE THE EASYWAY METHOD – which proves they are not really a “public health charity” but a shop window for the drug companies posing as a public health charity. 
Perhaps the Scottish Government is trying to convince Anne Jones that they are not falling down in the tobacco control race, but when it doesn't really seem to care about anything but attempts to quit, at a public cost of over £40 millions, it's not surprising that it doesn't have better results.


Xopher said...

So maybe 6,480 of the 108,000 stopped for a year but at what cost?
ASH employ around 30
add them to the many hundreds who actually work full and part-time in smoking cessation
then add the salaries of Scotland's famous Tobacco Control Industry 'experts' and their students in the various University departments
then add the Scottish Parliament's expenses and
the total costs must be horrendous.

But never forget the emotional trauma suffered by those who were encouraged to take on a challenge when the most likely outcome was failure.

Well done the righteous!

Bill Gibson said...

When will the political numpties switch into Tobacco Harm and Risk Reduction as a more effective way of spending our money?