Ealing Council stops NHS smoking cessation service because of funding cuts – hitting poorest people hardest

Ealing Council will stop its smoking cessation service at the end of March, saving £395,000 over the next two years, as the council grapples with £1.3m cuts over 2018-19 and 2019-20, according to a report by the Health Services Journal.

This may save the Council a bundle of dosh, but it means that West London Mental Health Trust – which had the contract to provide the service – will be considerably worse off. Not to mention the staff who provided the smoking cessation service, and the patients who need it in order to kick the habit.

This is likely to hit people on low incomes hardest. There is a strong correlation between smoking and socio-economic disadvantage. A 2012 study in the Journal of Public Health found that

Smoking rates were four times higher among the most disadvantaged … than the most affluent … Smoking prevalence declined between 2001 and 2008 except among the multiply disadvantaged.

The disadvantaged, however, did not experience the decline in smoking and smokers missed out from the increase in affluence. Smoking and disadvantage may increasingly coexist.

https://doi.org/10.1093/pubmed/fds012

The announcement that the Council is stopping the smoking cessation service is on the One You Ealing website . One You Ealing says it is:

“part of an exciting national behaviour change programme to help you fight back and kick unhealthy out of your life.”

So much for increased preventive public health services, and reduced health inequalities as promised by the NHS Long Term Scam.


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