Early conclusions about the impact of the smoking ban since its introduction in England in July 2007 can be drawn from an Information Centre report into NHS stop-smoking services.
The report, which looks at the number of people accessing NHS stop-smoking services between April and September 2007, found nearly 165,000 smokers managed to kick the habit in the summer of 2007.
A total of 327,800 people accessed the service during that period, which coincided with the introduction of the smoking ban in public places in England on 1 July.
This is a 28 per cent increase in the number of successful quitters and a 29 per cent increase in the number of people setting a quit date through NHS stop-smoking services compared with the same period in 2006.
Information Centre chief executive Tim Straughan said: "This report gives a valuable insight into NHS stop-smoking services and includes the first findings since the smoking ban was introduced.
"It shows more and more smokers are accessing NHS stop-smoking services and many of these are successfully kicking the habit. It also suggests such services coped well with increased demand after the ban came into force."
A detailed picture
The findings from the report, Statistics on NHS Stop Smoking Services in England, April to September 2007, are based on the number of smokers setting a quit date and the number who successfully quit by a four week follow-up.
Other key findings showed that of the 8,619 pregnant women who set a quit date, 4,084 successfully quit.
Success at the four-week follow-up increased with age, from 37 per cent of those aged under 18, to 59 per cent of those aged 60 and over.
The report also presents a more in-depth analysis of the key measures of the service, including breakdowns by ethnic groups and regional analyses at government office region, strategic health authority and primary care trust levels.
New data items have been added to the collection, including data for successful quitters by treatment option and ethnicity. In addition, for the first year, the collection includes information on Champix (varenicline) as a smoking cessation aid.
A full version of the report is at: www.ic.nhs.uk