Cuts to government funding have led to Stop Smoking Services declining across England, a new report has revealed | Cancer Research UK
The report by Cancer Research UK and Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) revealed that 44% of councils no longer provide a full, specialist service to all smokers looking to quit. Just over half of local authorities in England are still offering a specialist service that provides the best support to all smokers looking to quit the habit.
The report links the continued decline in specialist services to Government cuts, which have seen funding for local Stop Smoking Services decline by £41.3 million since 2014/2015 – a drop of 30% in under 4 years.
Of the councils that don’t offer a full specialist service to all smokers, there are varying levels of support on offer. Around 1 in 10 (9%) authorities have restricted specialist support to groups such as pregnant women and people with mental health conditions, where smoking rates have plateaued in recent years.
But 100,000 smokers in England no longer have access to any council-funded support to quit, with 3% of local authorities not offering stop smoking services at all. Local councils that have kept specialist services have higher rates of quitting than those with no specialist Stop Smoking Services.
The report makes several recommendations to help tackle the rising issue of stop smoking service cuts, including the reversal of government cuts and ensuring services are evidence-based.
NHS England has published its Combined Performance Summary, which provides data on key performance measures for January and February of this year. Here Jessica Morris of the Nuffield Trust shows some of these statistics and how they compare with previous years.
Statistics from Cancer Research UK show that in 2015 there were around 2,500 new cases, and nearly 700 deaths attributable to cervical cancer, in England. The overall age standardised incidence rate has been declining since the 1990s, however incidence is increasing in younger women.
Cervical cancer is 99.8% preventable through the cervical screening and the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination programmes. A cervical screen collects cells from the cervix to be tested for abnormalities. In 2019, primary HPV testing will also be introduced as part of the screening process.
Most cases of cervical cancer are linked to HPV and the vaccine, currently offered by the NHS for free to girls aged 12 and 13 in UK schools, protects against the most of the virus strains responsible. The national HPV vaccination programme has successfully reduced infections of HPV type 16/18 in 16-21 year old women by 80%.