A new report indicates that 'Stop Smoking Services' are experiencing a decline across England owing to funding cuts by the Government.
According to the report by Cancer Research UK and Action on Smoking and Health, 44 per cent of councils are not providing a complete specialist service any longer to all smokers looking to quit. This means that 100,000 smokers in England no longer have access to any council-funded support for smoking cessation.
The ongoing decline in specialist services has been attributed to Government cuts. The funding for 'Stop Smoking Services' has gone down by £41.3 million since 2014-2015 which translates to a 30 per cent drop in less than 4 years. Around 9 per cent of authorities have restricted specialist support to pregnant women and individuals with mental health issues, who have witnessed a plateau in smoking rates over recent years.
Cancer Research UK has appealed for a reversal of the funding cuts. Kruti Shrotri, Policy manager at Cancer Research UK said: "Smokers in disadvantaged circumstances generally find quitting harder but are around three times more likely to quit successfully with the help of stop smoking services."