A record number of Welsh smokers (15,599) used the free smoking cessation services available through the NHS in 2018-2019. This represents a 31 per cent increase in the number of individuals accessing the services compared with that five years ago (3672). The 'Help Me Quit' programme is provided by Public Health Wales in collaboration with seven Welsh health boards to deliver free, effective and tailored smoking cessation support.
The Help Me Quit has been immensely successful in the past five years and has treated a total of 70,796 smokers so far. Welsh smokers are increasingly seeking help to quit smoking in contrast to the rest of the UK which has witnessed a declining trend in the number of smokers seeking NHS treatment. The latest smoking prevalence estimates in Wales indicate a decline in the number of smokers from 19 per cent in 2017-2018 to 17 per cent in August 2019.
Ashley Gould, Consultant in Public Health and National Lead for Tobacco Control, said: "The chances of making a successful quit attempt are four times greater with our support than by going it alone. This is a message we’re trying to send to the 190,000 smokers in Wales who try to stop every year."