Wednesday, 10 October 2012

ASH Scotland heralds Scottish quit rates again

Funny that Sheila Duffy doesn't mention anything about costs.

What she says is this: 
The delivery of 24,529 successful quits in the most deprived areas, measured at one month, means that each of Scotland’s 14 health boards is on course to achieve its Government target. 
She says that the quit target is a four-week period, and that success in meeting a Government target is measured on the number of people attaining it. This is hardly a recipe for encouraging sustained and serious quit attempts.

Back to costs.

The costs applied to official spending on NRT in Scotland are spread through the different health boards, with each health authority getting a top-up for smoking cessation medications. I intend to go through it all to gather the relevant data, but in the meantime the figures for Action on Smoking and Health are laid out here.

Smoking cessation is costed as follows:
NHS services: 1999/2000 £5 million; 2011/2012 £88.2 million. This has been increasing every year since 1999.
Nicotine replacement therapy: 1999/2000 £0.1 million; 2011/2012 £31.4 million. This peaked in the mid 2000s at £40 million.
Whether or not trends followed an identical path in Scotland remains to be seen but the recent Scotsman report recorded a substantial rise in expenditure on NRT (staff costs were not even counted in that report) between 1999 and 2011. A general similarity in trends seems likely. And we saw the result in a recent post here: no change in the smoking rate that would reflect anything like the increased investment in the years since 1999. (Source.) And yet we keep being told how many are giving up (but reading the small print, it usually says 'quit attempts'.)

(Incidentally ASH Scotland is also soft-playing our challenge to the smoking ban, by refraining to make any comment whatever: please see and sign our petition if you haven't already done so!)


david said...

Interesting stats here (see pages 60 - 61)

Belinda said...

thanks very much for this David.

Anonymous said...

Well spotted indeed, david. I have saved that survey.
It is odd that I have not seen that before.
but we see how the advertising agency know as ASH use their media 'savvy' to manipulate figures. They trumpet their 'quit' figures as though 'quit' means totally given up smoking, rather than lasted for four weeks. As we see from the survey,nothing ASH says is truthful, although they do not actually lie. 'Mental reservations' is the phrase.