NHS services to stop smoking are more expensive than a year ago despite fewer quitters using them, it has been revealed.
The NHS spent £219 per head on quitters in 2008/09 – £46 more than in 2007/08 - but the total of 337,054 people who successfully quite smoking is 4% down on last year.
One reason for the decrease could be that the smoking ban was introduced in July 2007 and this may have had a bumper effect on the number of quitters that year, which has since fallen.
The new NHS figures show that 46% of the 18,928 pregnant women who use the NHS stop smoking services manage to complete the programme and quit. This shows that 12% fewer expectant mothers managed to quit this year than the year before.
The NHS Information Centre's chief executive, Tim Straughan, said: "The report shows that fewer people successfully quit last year compared to 2007/08."
Public Health Minister Gillian Merron, said: "We provide high quality, cost-effective support and advice that is clinically proven to work in helping people to stop smoking, and will continue to do so, with extra help for those who need it most."