Stats show stop - smoking support cost effective
ASH Scotland Chief Executive Sheila Duffy said today’s No Smoking Day was the perfect time for smokers to quit and support must be available for those who want it. Publishing a statistical briefing that showed stop-smoking support was cost-effective as well as being valuable to health, Ms Duffy said:
“No Smoking Day has always provided a motivation for smokers to throw away the fags and give up smoking. It is a perfect time for the 63% of smokers who say they want to give up to join around a million others across the UK who will all use No Smoking Day as their quit day.
“There is no doubt that giving up smoking is one of the best things you can do to improve your health and quality of life, but its also good for your own wealth and the economy of Scotland. Someone who smokes twenty a day will spend nearly £2200 each year and the cost of smoking to Scotland’s economy is over £1.1 billion every year.
“Compared to the costs, there is a very small amount spent on stop-smoking services, which are both effective and value for money. Scotland’s Health and Wellbeing budget for 2009/10 was £12.5 billion with just £14.75 million spent on NHS stop-smoking services, with approximately the same being spent this year. That’s just a tenth of one per cent of the total health and wellbeing budget. Yet cessation services are both effective and great value for money with the cost to the NHS per successful quitter being around £550.
“In terms of life years gained, smoking cessation is highly cost-effective. For example, statins to prevent heart disease cost nearly £25,000 in treatment per life year gained; smoking cessation treatment costs under £1000. In terms of health gain, successful quits are always worthwhile.
“There is lot of help and advice available to support smokers who want to quit. Lots of people can stop through willpower alone – and often find it easier than they thought it would be. Many people find alternative therapies helpful. You can also access free stop smoking support through the NHS, your local pharmacy, and Smokeline. These services can be very effective and they are available for everyone to use.
“Smokers need to know that thousands of people successfully give up smoking every year. The latest statistics show that nearly 26,500 people quit using NHS services in 2009 [latest figures available at one month quit] with many other smokers quitting using other methods.
“Smoking is devastating to Scotland’s public health accounting for a quarter of all deaths and thousands of others are affected by smoking-related illness. Giving up is only ever beneficial – to our health and our wealth.”