Letters

Chancellor Gordon Brown's second Budget saw another rise in tobacco taxation. The revenue from its sale is now sufficient to fund about a quarter of the NHS. Yet most smokers cannot claim a basic service - help to give up.

Smoking cessation is probably one of the most effective and cost-effective health promotion interventions available to the NHS.

Yet most smokers are not able to access a well-publicised clinically competent service which could and should be available through specialist hospital clinics or in primary care. GP health promotion contracts have yet to achieve high standards of provision in this area.

Surely after so much has been spent proving structured intervention will help smokers stop, it is time to spend some of their tax burden on a network of services to do so.

Bruce Whitear, Head of health promotion, Cardiff Community Healthcare trust.